Looks like So You Think You Can Dance already has its first elimination of the season, but it’s not a dancing contestant, it’s one of the judges. Matthew Morrison announced his exit from the show last week, and since then more details have come out both from sources behind the show and Morrison himself. Morrison's wife Renee Puente has even gotten involved on Instagram.
A few days after Morrison's exit, a source told People that the judge was fired "after he had an inappropriate relationship with a female contestant."
"They didn't have sex, but he reached out to her through flirty direct messages on social media. She felt uncomfortable with his line of comments and went to producers, who then got Fox involved. He was fired after they did their own investigation," the source said.
The source clarified that Morrison and the contestant "never met off-set" and "it was just messages that crossed the line."
On June 2, Morrison took to Instagram to tell his side of the story. In a video captioned "Just to clarify..." the former Glee star read out what he alleges is the only text he sent to a contestant and proceeded to call out anyone who traffics in "gossip."
"It's really unfortunate that I have to sit here and defend myself and my family against blatantly untrue statements made anonymously," he began the video (keeping his wedding band prominently in the foreground).
"I have nothing to hide. So, in the interest of transparency, I will read to you the one message I wrote to a dancer on the show," he continued. He then read a message off his phone: "Hey! It's Matthew. If you don't mind, would love to get your number and talk you through some things."
He further explained that the "things" he wanted to "talk through" were about a choreographer he and the contestant had a "mutual respect for" whom Morrison wanted to get on the show. Following the explanation, he blamed the media for hyping up the "gossip" surrounding his exit.
"We live in this world where gossip rules and people's lives are being thrown around as clickbait," he said. "I think this is much bigger than me and this story. Gossip is toxic, and it is destroying our society, and we need to do better."
He finished by saying he didn't want this to take away from the show and wished the rest of the judges all the best.
Morrison has comments turned off on the video but his wife Renee Puente made sure to have her say with a show of support for her husband on her own account. She reposted the video with a written statement in the caption.
"t’s been a wild ride… My husband has finally been given an opportunity to speak his truth. He has done so with such grace and integrity in a situation that is complex and incredibly complicated," Puente wrote.
"Gossip and cruelty are poison that have penetrated the depths of our society and somehow have made people forget their true nature- Love & compassion," she said. She also included some quotes about negativity, letting go and forgiveness.
The comments on that post are turned on with a good portion of people showing support for the couple.
Former Glee star Matthew Morrison released a statement over the weekend saying he will be exiting the show effective immediately, even though filming for the new season has already begun. He will reportedly be in just the first four episodes.
Releasing his statement directly to Variety, the actor said, “Having the opportunity to be a judge on So You Think You Can Dance was an incredible honor for me. Therefore, it is my deepest regret to inform you that I will be leaving the show.”
He continued, “After filming the audition rounds for the show and completing the selection of the 12 finalists, I did not follow competition production protocols, preventing me from being able to judge the competition fairly.” He did not specify exactly which protocols he violated, or in what capacity.
He finished off his statement with, “I cannot apologize enough to all involved and I will be watching alongside you all on what I know will be one of the best seasons yet.”
The new season, which began airing on May 18, featured Morrison judging dance hopefuls alongside JoJo Siwa and Twitch, along with host Cat Deeley. He was announced as a new judge in April after the long-running show’s original judges Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy made their exits.
When his role as judge was announced, Morrison took to Instagram to declare he was “thrilled to be heading back to my dance roots.” He will continue to be seen in the show until mid-June, as early rounds of the competition are pre-taped.
A lot of speculation and whisperings are floating about the nature of his protocol violations, however a source close to the situation has told US Weekly that the Tony-nominated Broadway actor’s infraction was “minor.”
But social media has a few theories, as it always does. Many have taken to Twitter to speculate that it’s due to his COVID-19 vaccination status, as season 17 of the show was originally scrapped and postponed due to the pandemic.
However, other gossip-mongers have another theory. There is a long list of reality TV stars that have had clandestine and often rule-breaking relationships with people working as production staff on the show. The Real Housewives of Atlanta, Teen Mom, Bachelor In Paradise, Survivor, The Bachelor, and The Hills are just some of the shows that have had to deal with their contestants falling in love with someone behind the scenes. Now, SYTYCD stans are speculating this might be the case with Morrison.
One fan has even suggested that Morrison is following in the footsteps of former American Idol judge Paula Abdul, who was caught up in an affair scandal during her time on the show.
We may never know exactly what really happened with Morrison, but this is definitely going to make for excellent TV viewing as the season progresses!