Last week, Hollywood was stunned by the disappearance of Naya Rivera, who vanished while swimming with her four-year-old son in a California lake.
Rivera is now presumed dead, though search efforts have yet to discover any remains.
Obviously, a tragedy of such magnitude affects countless people in myriad ways.
And one unexpected consequence of Rivera’s disappearance has been a targeted harassment campaign against her former Glee co-star Lea Michele.
Last month, Michele was branded a "horrible human being" and accused of racially-motivated bullying by several other actors who starred on the show.
Somehow, both her behavior and the consequences she suffered as a result were attributed to the "Glee curse," a phenomenon that’s been widely discussed on social media as a result of misfortunes experienced by several former cast members.
To be clear, Michele’s abhorrent behavior has nothing to do with Rivera’s diaappearance any more than it has to do with the death of Cory Monteith or any oher tragedy that has befallen one of her former colleagues.
Still, some Twitter users saw the disappearance as an opportunity to attack Michele in truly nauseating ways.
Some bashed her for her failure to issue a public statement about Rivera’s passing.
Others suggested her behavior on set caused lasting psychological damage to her co-stars, including Naya.
Still others expressed their belief that it would have been preferable for Michele — who is eight months pregnant — to have drowned in a lake instead of Rivera.
In response to the seemingly endless bullying, Michele deleted her Twitter account.
In the day since her account disappeared many other users — some of them fans of Michele’s, others simply fans of human decency — have spoken out against the harassment.
"I don’t support Lea Michele’s past behavior at any point, but filling her social media with comments like ‘it should’ve been you’ or ‘it’s your fault’ to the point that she deactivated it’s cruel and gross and you should be ashamed if you left a similar comment," wrote one user.
"Please normalize not supporting someone like you used to but still having some humanity left for that person," another added.
"Lea Michele does not deserve any of this shit she has gotten and it hurts my heart to read every evil thing people have said to her.
"Can y’all leave Lea Michele alone. She doesn’t have to address the situation on social media, stop policing how people react"
Harassing someone for the purpose of causing them emotional torment is always wrong — yes, even in cases when they were guilty of bullying, themselves — but if that’s not enough to prevent you from harassing Lea Michele, then do so for Naya Rivera.
This awful situation is disrespectful toward the memory of a talented actress and a devoted mother who was taken much too soon and in horrific fashion.
The focus right now should be on recovery efforts and paying proper tribute to Rivera’s life and work.
Different people grieve in different ways, of course, but there’s simply no excuse for connecting Naya’s name to something as ugly as online bullying.