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BWW Blog: What is Gen Z's Problem With Matthew Morrison?

Unpacking the Meme-ing of a Celebrity

Most of us know Matthew Morrison from his role as Mr. Will Schuester in the revolutionary television series, Glee. However, he's also been in numerous Broadway shows, specifically The Light in the Piazza, the 2008 revival of South Pacific, and, most recently, Finding Neverland. When the news was announced that Morrison would portray the Grinch in Dr. Seuss' The Grinch Musical last month, the meme world went absolutely wild. Over the summer, TikTok decided to dig into the problematic aspects of Glee, specifically honing in on Will Schuester, Morrison's character, who is, some might say, too close with his students. When TikTok discovered clips from The Grinch Musical, the app took control of the footage with an air that was anything but kind. While some of the clips, in my opinion, looked fun and Christmas-y, the other half looked, to be blunt, extremely creepy. We're talking nightmare fuel here people! The memes and TikToks started to go in on Matthew Morrison as a person rather than as any of his characters, even going so far as leaving a joking "Trigger Warning: Matthew Morrison" on their videos that contained reference to him.

So I decided to solve the puzzling riddle of Gen Z's random, passionate hatred for Matthew Morrison the best way I know how: I took to my Snapchat story, asking my friends to swipe up and let me know their reasoning behind their snarky anger. Below is a comprehensive list of the quality responses I received to my question, "I don't understand why people hate Matthew Morrison! Swipe up and let me know YOUR reasoning?!"

Sophia: "For me, it's his nose. It aggravates me."

Niamh: "Mr. Schue as a character is just so...creepy. Also, he has posted a pic where he is sandwiched by deceased Glee actors and his caption was, "*angel emoji* *sad face emoji* *angel emoji*."

Kelly: "It's not like he's done anything inherently problematic, but between his portrayal of Will Schuester (and the way his character was written on Glee), and the fact that he definitely thinks he's more of a heartthrob than he actually is, I'm just set off for some reason. He's very talented, but I just don't like the energy he gives off."

Ciara: "Omg I hate him. He's like that Scrub Daddy sponge."

Megan: "Will Schuester is too creepily sexual with his students on the show."

Bari: "I think it's their inability to separate actor from role (i.e. Mr. Schuester from Glee)."

Jill: "Well, I think recently people realized how creepy Will Schuester was on Glee and somehow that hatred kind of just transferred onto Matthew Morrison. Also with the unbridled rage of some tiktokers towards him, people kind of just went along with it as a joke. For some videos it turned into a kind of Rick Roll where creators would say "I hope everyone is having a good day...Except for you Matthew Morrison."

Sami: "I don't know why I don't like him, but I just have a weird gut feeling that he's a creep."

Zach: "It's his cocky face."

Christian: "I honestly don't know. Maybe it's his character, maybe it's the bandwagon. I really don't know. All I know is the sight of Matthew Morrison makes me cringe."

Olivia: "I don't either! Mr. Schue- ok, I guess whatever, but why MATT?"

And finally, the grand finale...

Carson: "Who?"

So there you have it, a comprehensive collection of Gen Z's reasoning towards their strong distaste for Matthew Morrison. Personally, I think he is a phenomenal performer and seems to be a great person! I'll leave the judgement for my Snapchat friends and the rest of TikTok ;)

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