On Monday, July 13, Naya Rivera’s body was recovered after an almost week-long search. The 33-year-old actress had been declared missing on July 8 after her son was spotted sleeping alone on a rented boat in Lake Piru, California. Officials say that the cause of her death was accidental drowning, but some folks on the internet are blaming something else entirely: the Glee curse. Here’s why that’s problematic on so many levels.
What is this “Glee curse”?
The cast of the teen musical series Glee is no stranger to tragedy. In 2013, Cory Monteith (who played Finn Hudson) died after an accidental overdose. In December 2015, Mark Salling (who played Noah “Puck” Puckerman) died by suicide after officials discovered child pornography on his computer and USB flash drives.
Some internet conspiracy theorists are also bringing up Melissa Benoit’s history with domestic violence, the accusations of domestic violence against Blake Jenner, and how Lea Michele was recently canceled for her problematic behavior.
But does this conspiracy theory make sense? And is it helpful?
Naya Rivera was more than her character on Glee
Naya Rivera is NOT “from Glee”
Naya Rivera is NOT Santana
Naya Rivera is NOT Lea Michele’s rival
Nata Rivera is NOT Big Sean’s ex
Naya Rivera is NOT “a problematic actress”
Naya Rivera IS a woman, a mom sister, a daughter
DON’T talk about a Glee curse
DON’T tweet “If I Die Young”
— Edge (@3dg3ucation) July 9, 2020
Let’s get this straight: Naya was not Santana. It’s understandable that fans of the show are torn up over her death, but let’s not reduce her to simply being “that cheerleader from Glee.” She was a real woman. She was a mom, a sister, a daughter, a friend. Let’s all remember that as we process this loss.
Naya Rivera was more than her mistakes
NAYA WAS A MOTHER! STOP SAYING SHE WAS PROBLEMATIC OR THAT SHE “DESERVED IT”!!! SHE IS A HUMAN. STOP MAKING JOKES ABOUT HER AND WHAT IS HAPPENING. AND STOP MENTIONING THE “GLEE CAST CURSE” ITS INSENSITIVE AND RUDE
— margs ☔︎ (SLAM WEEK)ミ☆ (@CL0UDYLIVS) July 9, 2020
Perhaps part of the reason why some people are turning to conspiracy theories instead of grieving over Naya’s death is because of the scandals that rocked her career. Naya wasn’t perfect, but then again, who are we to judge? She was human.
(Note: We can’t say the same thing about Mark Salling, whose downfall was brought about by his predatory behavior. When Mark was caught, Naya [who had dated him] said that she wasn’t shocked by the news, even saying that he had cheated on her and pressured her to use drugs.
Let’s not mince words: Her death was an accident. His death was an escape from accountability. So to compare Naya’s death to Mark’s is just gross and completely unfair to Naya.)
These are real people
there is no “glee curse”. this is real life. stop tweeting insensitive shit and respect the situation.
— ellie ミ☆ (@blairfiIms) July 13, 2020
Because these are public personalities involved, it’s easy for us to detach and forget that these celebrities are real people. Is it too much to ask people to have a little empathy and quit coming up with weird conspiracy theories for the sake of our entertainment?
Okay, so maybe this is a coping mechanism of sorts
If you’re one of the many who have shared tweets and Facebook posts about the Glee curse, don’t beat yourself up too much. As this Entertainment Weekly article on the Glee curse says, humans naturally look for patterns and meaning when faced with tragedy. But let’s also just be real: the Glee curse is illogical.
It just doesn’t make sense
Terrible things happen every day. You’d be hard-pressed to find a show or movie whose cast hasn’t been subjected to tragedies and scandals. Glee had a huge cast with more than 1,000 named actors in non-background roles over its six seasons. So the probability of bad things happening to some of them shouldn’t be attributed to a sinister curse, but simple probability and chance. Also, the Glee curse implies that the rest of the cast are doomed.
It doesn’t help the people who need it the most
RIP @NayaRivera This story has broken my heart. Such an beautiful, talented soul you are. Thank you for setting an amazing example of how a mother should be. Your legacy will live on. So much love, light and prayers to your son, family and friends. ❤️N pic.twitter.com/AQJN7uIOIG
— Nikki & Brie (@BellaTwins) July 14, 2020
Real people died, and real people are grieving. Her family and friends are still in shock and her four-year-old son has to live with the memory of seeing his mother die. This Glee curse theory isn’t helping any of them, and can even make the grieving process even more difficult.
TL;DR: This conspiracy theory is weird, stupid, and downright disrespectful
an actual child could’ve witnessed his mom’s last moments and weirdos on here are talking about a “glee curse.” please shut the hell up and show some empathy for two seconds
— dusty (@BRBRASTREISAND) July 9, 2020
Bottom line: Stop. Just stop.
What are your thoughts on the Glee curse? Sound off in the comments.