Due to personal issues, I have been let go from the cast of GLEE. Explanations will come shortly…
— Chris Colfer (@chriscolfer) July 3, 2014
An explanation did arrive today, but that’s the only part of the message that’s true. According to Colfer’s agent (as told to THR), Colfer isn’t going anywhere. His account was hacked, and the actor will be returning for the sixth and final season of the FOX musical.
But should he?
The obvious answer is yes, considering that there’s only one year left and he owes that much to the fans (or as much as any actor can “owe” anything to the community that helped make him a star). He’s committed to it, and there’s no reason to jump ship now, burning bridges left and right.
That being said, “Glee” is in rough shape. After having one of the highest rated first seasons in recent memory and sparking a glut of television musicals (“Nashville,” “Smash”), the FOX dramedy has taken a rating dive over the past four seasons that’s equal to its incredible rise in Season 1. Last season’s finale averaged a mere 1.9 million viewers and a 0.6 ratings in the 18-49 demographic, a target audience the show used to dominate every week. In comparison, the Season 1 finale drew more than 11 million viewers.
Ryan Murphy’s show has seen a steep decline in quality since its first season, and Colfer’s exit would not have been the first from the talented cast: Dianna Agron, Heather Morris, Mark Salling, and Harry Shum Jr. have all left the show recently, after being regulars on the musical from the start (though they have returned as guest stars). However, Colfer would have been the biggest name to go.
While there’s no guarantee for post-“Glee” success, sticking around won’t net the young actor any more respect within the industry or earn him any new fans. He’s already won a Golden Globe and earned two Emmy nominations while on “Glee,” making him the most decorated newcomer from the cast (Jane Lynch also earned a career resurgence, but we already loved her). Now may be the time for him to branch out into something new, like the Noel Coward biopic he’ll be doing with Vanessa Redgrave. It would be more than a shame for him to miss out on any roles while shooting “Glee” — it would be downright dangerous for his career.
Gleeks may not want to hear it, but perhaps the hacker gave Colfer some much needed advice.