Can Lea Michele Read? Jewish Glee star pokes fun at illiteracy rumours on TikTok

Rumours have long circulated about Michele insinuating that she doesn't know how to read


Jewish Broadway star Lea Michele has reignited rumours of her illiteracy after poking fun of the joke in a video shared on TikTok.

Inspired by the news of Barbra Streisand releasing her memoir this November, Michele posted a video saying that she only has “265 days to learn to READ!!!!”.



♬ original sound - leamichele

Michele has long been subject to rumours that she was unable to read, occasionally referencing the jokes in her own social media content.

Internet rumours theorised that because Michele spent her childhood on Broadway, she was thrown into fame and apparently would not have had time to go to school to learn how to read and write.

Social media users on Reddit also suggested that the reason Michele tends to only appear in Ryan Murphy's productions is that he agreed to feed her lines on set, making it easier for her to remember.

Another popular theory claims that Michele’s assistant has control over her social media, with fans debating that whenever her Instagram captions are made up of only emojis, it is written by Michele and when there is a sentence, her personal assistant has typed it out.

Last year, Michele told the New York Times: “I went to Glee every single day; I knew my lines every single day. And then there's a rumour online that I can't read or write? It's sad. It really is. I think often if I were a man, a lot of this wouldn't be the case.”

The actress, whose father is a Sephardic Jew with her paternal grandmother’s family from today’s northern Greece, was raised in her mother's Catholic faith.

She married her Jewish husband, Zandy Reich under a chuppah — and the horah was danced at their wedding, with Barbara playing during the cake cutting as Michele opted for a simple gold band so as to not eclipse Reich’s engagement ring, made by Jewish jewelry designer Leor Yerushalmi.

Michele, a huge fan of Barbra, is leading the Broadway revival of Funny Girl - the 1964 musical which catapulted Barbra to stardom - and previously played the very Jewish Rachel Barbra Berry on Glee, whose name was inspired by Streisand.

The year Michele performed My Man on Glee, she sang it in front of Barbra at a pre-Grammy event. The next night, according to Lea's memoir, Barbra surprised her by tapping her on the shoulder and said: "I just wanted to say thank you for introducing me to your generation."

And upon taking up the Funny Girl role, Lea received a note from Barbra, an experience she described as "so surreal and such a wonderful moment. The fact that she acknowledged my performance - I could cry."

She told Town And Country: "It was a beautiful, hand-written note that I will cherish. She was incredibly complimentary."

Streisand’s memoir, “My Name is Barbra” is named after the author's first TV special, a black-and-white musical performance that aired in 1965, and will cover the life and six-decade-long career of the 80-year-old Jewish star. It is reported to be over 1,000 pages and is the first time Streisand has published her own account of her life.

Ben Brusey, publishing director at Century, the imprint of Penguin Random House that is publishing Stresisand’s book, called Barbra “the ultimate artist and icon”.

He said her book is “one of the greatest tales of the creative life ever told,” and that it “reveals a voice on the page that is every bit as heartfelt, entertaining and spectacular as her greatest performances.”

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