In case you weren’t on the Internet back in 2017, the theory came to be in an episode of Jaye Hunt and Robert Ackerman’s One More Thing podcast where the pair examined Naya Rivera’s memoir Sorry Not Sorry. After reading a blurb that stated Lea refused to improv lines with Tim Conway on Glee, the hosts joked that it could be because she’s illiterate.
From then, the soundbite snowballed and more clues were added to the theory, including speculations that Lea would always get her lines fed during public appearances, and thus, the memes were born. Over the years, Lea has tried to dispel the myth in one way or another — but now, it looks like the singer and actress in joining in on the fun.
Lea, who is currently taking a break from Funny Girl on Broadway after testing positive for COVID-19, took to TikTok to revive the theory herself with her second-ever video on the app. In the video, Lea uses a Keeping Up with the Kardashians audio featuring Kim K’s tearful voice to illustrate her joke.
“Calling Jonathan to read me the comments on my first TikTok,” the text in Lea’s video reads, referring to Jonathan Groff, her Glee costar and IRL BFF. The caption for the post is a simple “lol” followed by three tongue-in-cheek emojis.
What prompted Lea to post the TikTok remains to be confirmed, but the comments on her first TikTok video, a duet where she reenacts her opening night as Fanny Brice, are rife with quipping references to the theory.
Earlier this month, Lea had opened up about the popular conspiracy theory in an interview with the New York Times — and she didn’t seem as in on the joke. “I went to Glee every single day; I knew my lines every single day… And then there’s a rumor 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 star told the publication. Seems like the spirit of TikTok has gotten the best of her!