The musical comedy series Glee is set to be at the centre of a new docuseries from Discovery+ and Ample Entertainment, exploring the shocking controversies and tragedies that rocked the show.
When Glee, which was created by Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, and Ian Brennan, first came to our screens in 2009, viewers were captivated by the wholesome feet-tapping, all-dancing covers from William McKinley High School’s highly ambitious students who dreamt of making it big in the music world.
We laughed and cried as members of the Glee club navigated their way through various social issues such as relationships, family problems, sexuality and race – which undoubtedly kept them unified and made for a very feel-good watch for viewers at home.
However, things were starkly different behind the show’s scenes, which were marred with a range of dark shadows, which first began with Cory Monteith‘s heroin overdose in 2013.
The scandal continued to follow the cast after the show ended in 2015, with Mark Salling, who played Noah “Puck” Puckerman, taking his own life after pleading guilty to possession of child pornography. In 2020, the world mourned the loss of Santana actress Naya Rivera who accidentally drowned during a boating trip. With a slew of other distressing instances, including allegations of on-set bullying, the term “the Glee curse” was inevitably coined by online social conspiracist. Here’s why…
Cory Monteith’s drink and drug battle
Cory, who played McKinley High’s star jock and glee club co-captain Finn Hudson, revealed he had a “serious problem” with drugs in an interview with Parade in 2011. Two years later, he headed to rehab for “substance addiction” for a month-long treatment. Ultimately, Cory relapsed and overdosed on heroin and alcohol, tragically passing away at 31 on July 13, 2013.
Mark Salling’s child pornography conviction and death
Following a tip-off from an ex-girlfriend, Mark Salling was arrested in 2015 for possessing 50,000 images and 600 videos of pornographic images involving children on his laptop. He was indicted in 2016 and, in September 2017, pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography involving a prepubescent minor. Mark was never sentenced as he took his own life in a Los Angeles Park on January 20, 2018, at age 35.
Naya Rivera’s accidental drowning
In one of the show’s biggest tragedies, Naya Rivera drowned saving her then-four-year-old son Josey Dorsey during a boating trip at Lake Piru, California. Her body was recovered six days after she went missing. Police said that the Glee star acted desperately and “mustered enough energy to get her son back on the boat, but not enough to save herself” in the tragic turn of events. She was 33.