“Glee” Fans Aren’t Happy With Matthew Morrison’s Tribute To Mark Salling
31 January 2018, 13:59
Various members of the "Glee" cast have been sharing their tributes on social media - but some fans aren't happy.
It was reported yesterday (Jan 30), and later confirmed by his lawyer, that former Glee actor Mark Salling had died of apparent suicide. At the time of his death, he was weeks away from being sentenced to between 4 and 7 years in jail for possession of child pornography, which he pled guilty to late last year.
A handful of Mark's Glee co-stars expressed their sadness and sent their condolences in tweets and Instagram posts shortly after hearing the news. But, as expected, there hasn't been an abundance of messages for Salling at all.
So far, only Matthew Morrison (Mr Schue), Jane Lynch (Sue Sylvester), Jenna Ushkowitz (Tina), Kevin McHale (Artie) Iqbal Theba (Principal Figgins) and various other crew members have commented on his passing on social media but every time someone has, fans have been quick to call them out because of Salling's disturbing criminal past.
In a video obtained by TMZ, Jane Lynch said that she was “broken-hearted” after hearing of Salling's "tragic" death. She said she'll remember him “as the guy who made that sweet video at the beginning of Glee when he was so happy to be part of this group.”
Thebal, who played Principal Figgins simply tweeted the words "Oh Mark".
Glee director, Paris Barclay tweeted a picture of him with Monteith and Salling in their early days on the set of Glee. Ushkowitz retweeted it and McHale liked it.
Matthew Morrison's tribute was singled out as the most controversial by fans for one very particular reason, however. He posted a picture of himself, Salling and the late Cory Monteith, who also tragically took his own life in 2013 at the age of 31 and captioned it with two angel emojis.
Fans on Twitter and Instagram took to the comment section to question his choice of emojis for the image, with many believing that it was insulting to Monteith to equate the two as equals.
"There’s literally no comparison between these two. One struggled with substance abuse and was gone way too soon and the other was a vile person who downloaded and redistributed literal child porn. This photo is so damn tone deaf that it’s sickening," wrote one user on Instagram
"The loss must be devastating so I respect your need to mourn, but an angel emoji? Really?" wrote another.
Matthew Morrison comparing Mark to Cory while implying he's an angel is actually a disturbing thing to do. Glorifying a pedophile in his death will encourage others to do the same. It also shits on Cory's legacy— Maybi (@Jadesdevotee) January 30, 2018
matthew morrison posted a picture of him with cory and mark with two angel emojis and a sad face emoji. i feel so conflicted by this bc i understand he’s now lost two very good friends and he’s allowed to grieve but mark was not an angle nor is he now by any means.— morgan ♡ (@sabsumbrella) January 31, 2018
But for every fan that criticised Morrison for his choice of emojis, another fan defended him because he was simply mourning the friend and former colleague he once knew.
People are really dragging Matthew Morrison for posting a pic of him mark and cory? How tf yall gon shit on someone grieving. Y’all really ain’t shit! #RIPMarkSailing— chicago west (@chrisholmez) January 31, 2018
"All I’m saying is that Mathew obviously knew another side of him. It’s probably an extremely sad and confusing time for him. It was for me. I knew my friend did terrible things but I was still grieving. People shouldn’t attack someone for grieving," wrote one user in the comments.
Another user pointed out that it's ok to mourn the person that he was: "Whatever Mark did doesn’t change the fact the Matthew and him were friends. Matthew lost a friend. This is what this post is about. You can judge and hate on Mark on you own profiles."
Producer Tim Davis spoke out about the backlash against the tributes from Salling's former castmates.
Today we lost another #Glee cast member.Yes, he committed crimes against children.Yes, it's horrific. But #MarkSalling was a broken man, no doubt an abuse victim himself. I loved Mark, and am sad when I consider the devastation of his parents. PLEASE withhold your cruel comments.— Tim Davis (@loudmouthmuch) January 30, 2018
Let me be clear. Having compassion for #MarkSalling in no way minimizes his crimes, nor does it minimize the pain and devastation of the victims of those crimes. I'm just saying stop adding to his family's pain. This was their son. If you're without sin, feel free to cast stones.— Tim Davis (@loudmouthmuch) January 30, 2018
Theba also tweeted his reasons for sharing condolences.
His death is painful for me Some of u might know him for only his flaws but I also knew him as someone who was great to work with & was kind to my kids. I truly wish he’d fought his demons &atoned himself & came out a winner. May we all find solace in some of his gentler memories— iqbal theba (@iqbaltheba) January 31, 2018
There are no rules on how you should or shouldn't grieve for someone - regardless of how they turned out to be. For many of Salling's castmates, his family and the people that knew him personally, his passing paired with his convictions must be incredible difficult to balance and come to terms with.
If you have been affected by the issues mentioned in this article, or know someone who might need help, please go here to find advice and information.