‘Glee’ Star Kevin McHale Says That He Wouldn’t Play Artie Again


  • “Glee” star Kevin McHale told Insider that he’d only join a reboot if he played another character.
  • McHale starred in the hit series as Artie, a wheelchair user and main member of the Glee club.
  • He told Insider that he didn’t think he should play a character in a wheelchair again.

“Glee” star Kevin McHale said that he would only consider starring in a reboot of the hit Fox series if he didn’t have to play Artie again.

¬†McHale and his costar Jenna Ushkowitz are currently reminiscing on their time on the musical series with their newly-rebranded podcast, “And That’s What You Really Missed.”

In the hit show, McHale played Artie Abrams, a disabled student in the Glee club who uses a wheelchair, while Ushkowitz played Tina Cohen-Chang, a shy student who dates Artie.

When asked if they were interested in a reboot of the show, McHale told Insider that he didn’t think he would play a character in a wheelchair again.

“I don’t know if Artie could be in it,” He said. “Knowing what we know now, I don’t think I should be playing a character that’s in a wheelchair. So, if they let me grow out of my beard and play a different character, I’ll do it.”

While the inclusion of a disabled student was praised at the time, there was also some backlash that an actor who uses a wheelchair was not cast in the role.

“CSI” cast member Robert David Hall told AP in 2009: “I think there’s a fear of litigation, that a person with disabilities might slow a production down, fear that viewers might be uncomfortable. I’ve made my living as an actor for 30 years and I walk on two artificial legs.”

The cast of glee dancing in season one choir room

The cast of “Glee.”

Fox/Getty Images

In 2019, during an episode of his previous “Glee” podcast with Ushkowitz “Showmance,” McHale said he “didn’t know better” about not playing a disabled character as an able-bodied actor.

“It couldn’t happen today,” he said. “Barely made that cut because we didn’t know any better. What were we thinking? I can’t play that part.”

In the interview with Insider, Ushkowitz said she would only join a reboot if creator Ryan Murphy was involved.

“I look to the leader. Ryan Murphy said something on our podcast about it, so you’ll have to listen,” she said. “I think if it could be done in the right way, he would do it. The stars have to align in order for something to make sense to do it, or he’s not gonna do it. Like, the integrity has to be there.”

Ushkowitz added: “If Ryan was involved, I mean, that’s when you consider it. That’s when you talk about actually the possibility of doing it. Otherwise, you can count me out.”

Murphy appeared as a guest in the first two episodes of Ushkowitz and McHale’s new podcast. However, in the second episode, Murphy said that he should have ended the show after “Glee” star Cory Monteith died.

“Now, if this had happened, I would be like, ‘That’s the end,'” Murphy said on the podcast. “Because you can’t really recover from something like that.”

New episodes of “And That’s What You Really Missed” premiere on Monday.

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