After Matthew Morrison announced his departure from So You Think You Can Dance on Friday, the show has confirmed that his abrupt exit was due to “flirty” messages sent to a female contestant.
On Wednesday, People reported that Morrison was fired after an internal investigation by Fox found the messages to have “crossed the line.”
“She felt uncomfortable with his line of comments and went to producers, who then got Fox involved,” the source told People. The source added that Morrison and the contestant “didn’t have sex, but he reached out to her through flirty messages on social media.”
The identity of the female contestant with whom Morrison was inappropriate has not been disclosed.
Morrison, who was serving as a judge on the show’s 17th season, released a statement to Variety on May 27th that he was leaving “effective immediately.” However, he blamed the situation on his failure to follow “competition production protocols”—whatever that means!
“After filming the audition rounds for the show and completing the selection of the 12 finalists, I did not follow competition production protocols, preventing me from being able to judge the competition fairly,” his statement read. “I cannot apologize enough to all involved and I will be watching alongside you all on what I know will be one of the best seasons yet.”
Initially, the vagueness made it seem like Morrison was talking about COVID-19 protocols— since it’s common nowadays to hear about celebrities losing gigs because of their refusal to comply with health guidelines on set. But I honestly can’t imagine the egomaniacal tendencies that would allow a pseudo-celeb to feel entitled enough to message a contestant with zero regards for how his actions might affect her.
The 43-year-old Tony Award-nominated Broadway star (who’s also married with two young kids) is most well known for playing William Schuester on Glee—a role that Gen-Z TikTok-ers have been famously roasting him for since 2020. As Jezebel pointed out at the time, among his dozens of cringe-y and inappropriate performances on the show as a teacher at the high school and coach of the glee club he raps ‘Thong Song,” “sings ‘Don’t Stand So Close to Me’ with Rachel Berry, a student,” and “fucks a hat in front of his students for four whole minutes” during a performance of Britney Spears’ “Toxic.”
Morrison hasn’t responded to the accusations and it will be interesting to see what Fox plans to do with the four pre-taped episodes he will appear in (the season premiered on May 18.) But one thing is for sure—his days of flying under the radar are definitely over.