You won't believe why Lea Michele is trending

Right now, Lea Michele is on vacation in Hawaii. According to Instagram, she’s having an amazing time. She’s bonding with her mom. She’s applying a lot of sunscreen. Life is good for the Glee and Scream Queens alum.

Give the woman an Oscar! Two online conspiracy theorists claim that Lea Michele doesn’t know how to read. (Image: <em>Who Do You Think You Are?</em>/TLC)
Give the woman an Oscar! Two online conspiracy theorists claim that Lea Michele doesn’t know how to read. (Image: Who Do You Think You Are?/TLC)

However, while she kicks back in “paradise,” this morning she was trending on Twitter. Was it a crazy bikini pic breaking the internet? No, that would make sense. She actually trended for the most ridiculous reason ever: an eight-month-old fan conspiracy theory claiming she’s illiterate has gone viral.

Lea Michele arrives for the Elton John AIDS Foundation’s Oscars 2018 viewing party. (Photo: Getty Images)
Lea Michele arrives for the Elton John AIDS Foundation’s Oscars 2018 viewing party. (Photo: Getty Images)

One More Thing podcast’s Jaye Hunt and Robert Ackerman shared their totally unsubstantiated theory during a Facebook Live session in July. Trust us — you’ll hate yourself for watching it. Don’t let that stop you. “Lea Michele Is Illiterate” starts off like a silly conversation you have with a friend over dinner about a random celebrity in the news … until suddenly the friend busts out evidence and exhibits and things get really weird.

OK, so that was eight months ago. Who cares now? Well, they do. On Wednesday, conspiracy theorists Hunt and Ackerman posted a second part of the conversation on YouTube called, you guessed it, “Lea Michele Is Illiterate, Part 2.” They show even more “evidence,” which you don’t have to be working for the DA’s office to realize isn’t credible at all.

Their main argument about Michele’s literacy comes from a bit in fellow Glee alum/rival Naya Rivera’s book, Sorry Not Sorry. In it, Rivera wrote about a time on set that Michele wouldn’t improvise her lines when Tim Conway was a guest star. She was apparently so flustered by the whole thing, she stormed off to her trailer. Ackerman and Hunt said they found it weird that Michele never addressed Rivera’s dis, joked that maybe she couldn’t read, and — boom — their theory was born.

They speculate that Michele’s frequent collaborator Ryan Murphy is in on her secret — and maybe tried to teach her to read. They show evidence (videos! photos!) of times Michele was supposed to be reading something (like while announcing an award at an awards show) and suggest she wasn’t really reading it at all. They even analyzed her social media posts, saying she often uses emojis because that’s all she can do. At book signings, she’s never photographed actually touching pen to paper. (They claim her early start in showbiz, starring on Broadway at just 8, curtailed her schooling. They also said that her workaround is that lines are fed to her verbally and she memorizes them.)

It’s all rather silly, but — due to the internet — the theory has taken on a life of its own. While Michele has freely admitted to the Washington Post that she can’t read music, the mega-talent — who has been nominated for two Golden Globes and one Emmy — can actually read, thank you very much. Beyond the fact that she’s written several books, including Brunette Ambition, she’s written songs on her solo albums, Places and Louder.

We’re not going to load you down with lots of evidence negating this, but if you caught her episode of TLC’s Who Do You Think You Are?, she’s reading throughout the show — on camera. Not sure we need to go any further, but we’ll add that she’s also talked about her love of reading. She told Biography that while one of her “all-time favorites” when it comes to books is Girl With the Pearl Earring, she powered through Chelsea Handler: My Horizontal Life, saying, “Read this book in 24 hours I loved it so much!” She even posts photos of the books she’s reading.

But the viral videos have the internet talking.

Though people clearly realize it’s absurd.

We can NOT either. And neither can her reps. They wouldn’t comment on this story, but soon after Michele herself did, posting this on Twitter:

Lea Michele, 1, Conspiracy theorists, 0.

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