Lea Michele's controversial departure from Fox's hit musical-comedy Glee has been defended by one of the show's biggest stars, Jane Lynch. Co-creator Ryan Murphy stunned fans on Thursday (14th July 2011) by announcing Michele, Chris Colfer and Cory Monteith would not be returning for the fourth season and will instead "graduate".
Lynch, who plays bullying coach Sue Sylvester on the show, says despite the bold decision she trusts Murphy's judgement. Speaking to Access Hollywood's Billy Bush and Kit Hoover, the actress said, "Ryan rarely makes bad calls.But I think it's kind of cool that they will graduate", before quipping, "And I also think it's kind of cool that the teachers get to stay!" Lynch won both a Golden Globe for her work on the show in 2010, and scored a 'Best Supporting Actress' nomination for the Emmy Awards on Thursday morning. Michele has taken to her Twitter page in an attempt to appease disgruntled Glee fans, saying, "We always knew we'd graduate in real time. It's all part of the plan and it's all good! It's going to make Season 3 amazing!!!" Colfer has also spoken of his acceptance at the decision, despite not realising his character was old enough to graduate.
Lea Michele has played 'Rachel Berry' on the comedy-musical since the opening series, establishing herself as a firm fan favourite. Also a singer, she performed 'America the Beautiful' in front of 80,000 fans at the Super Bowl XLV.