Naya Rivera Hasn't Been Fired From 'Glee,' Studio, Rep Say
UPDATED: Producers 20th Television have publicly commented for the first time on the future of the actress on the musical comedy after Rivera's alleged flap with co-star Lea Michele.
Contrary to reports, Glee's Naya Rivera is not leaving the Fox series.
The New York Daily News reported Monday that Rivera had been fired from the musical dramedy on Tuesday following the actress' alleged feud with co-star Lea Michele and subsequent flap with producers.
"Any reports or rumors circulating that Naya Rivera was let go or fired from Glee are absolutely untrue. End of story," a rep for Rivera tells The Hollywood Reporter.
Reps for Glee producers 20th Century Fox Television addressed the rumors for the first time Friday, issuing a statement: "There is no truth to the rumor Naya has been fired from the show. She remains under contract to Glee,” the studio said.
Rumors of off-screen tension between Rivera and Michele surfaced earlier this month following an alleged on-set altercation. The New York Daily News reported that the rift was not with Michele but instead with producers on the musical dramedy, where she has played the outspoken Santana Lopez since season one and been a regular since Glee's sophomore run.
Sources tell THR that any reports that Rivera has been banned from set are untrue. Rumors that the actress cleaned out her trailer and won't return to the series are being misrepresented as Rivera is already on hiatus from the show. Sources also say that the actress has not received any letters from the network or studio to change her behavior.
Rivera, like many in Glee's ensemble cast, has been featured sporadically during Glee's current fifth season, as her character made the move to New York, where she roomed with Michele's aspiring Broadway diva Rachel Berry. The two characters have, over the life of the series, repeatedly clashed and made up, becoming closer friends in the process.
Her character this season has been on a rollercoaster journey to find her true calling, briefly becoming Rachel's understudy in Funny Girl and currently exploring a recording career after a getaway during which she rekindled her romance with ex-girlfriend Brittany (Heather Morris).
For her part, Rivera has continued to voice her support for the show with multiple tweets urging her more than 1.6 million followers to tune in to the Fox series, including one posted Tuesday.
Rivera and Michele have both been through a lot this season. Production on Glee weathered a delay following the July passing of Michele's off-screen boyfriend and show star, Cory Monteith. Rivera also recently ended her engagement to rapper Big Sean earlier this month.
Glee's current fifth season has been reduced from 22 to 20 episodes as a result of the production hiatus. The series, a worldwide phenomenon, has seen its ratings dip this season to multiple series lows. The show, from producers Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk, has already been renewed for a sixth and final season that was part of a 44-episode pickup last year.
Glee recently shifted its focus to New York full-time, with its goal to follow core characters, including Rachel, Santana, Kurt (Chris Colfer), Sam (Chord Overstreet), Blaine (Darren Criss), Artie (Kevin McHale) and Mercedes (Amber Riley). During an interview with select press including THR, Murphy said offers have been extended to anyone who was part of Glee's early seasons to return as a series regular for its final run. He declined to be specific on just whom would be back as a regular. The showrunner noted the final season will not be New York-centric and feature a time jump that has yet to be determined. During the season five finale, he said, "something big happens" that will set up the final season.
Rivera is expected to return for the final season, though she -- like many other cast members -- are unclear in what capacity or for how many episodes they'll be back, as the story line is still being shaped.