When I first saw this story on Peoples site I laughed at how self-centered Lea Michele admitted she was in her commencement speech at a charter school in Dallas, Texas. Other than talking extensively about her outfit during her own graduation and how accomplished she was for graduating with a 3.67 GPA while she worked on Broadway, she focused her speech on the parents of the graduates and their sacrifices. It sounded like a rare moment when Lea credited someone other than herself for her achievements. I read a few more stories about it and it turns out that Leas speech and the commencement were sponsored by Whirlpool. Its part of their brand messaging about a lifetime of care. Laundry featured heavily, according to what she told People. Kudos to Jacob Vaughn at the Dallas Observer for being the only outlet I could find which mentioned the connection to Whirlpool.
The Uplift Peak Preparatory graduation was almost like any other high school graduation ceremony
Whirlpool Corp., a home appliance company, and Lea Michele, former Glee star, have teamed together to start the integrated campaign Congrats, Parents. Parents and caregivers are responsible for 7,488 loads of laundry, 2,700 loads of dishes and 19,710 meals before graduates walk the stage.
The campaign flips the traditional narrative of high school graduation to recognize the acts of care that parents provide throughout students? academic career, says Katie Suzik, Whirlpool account executive. In addition to appreciation shown through students? ?Care Caps,? certain parents, based on submissions from students, teachers and school staff, received the ?Care Cum Laude? honor.
After speeches from the top of their class at Uplift Peak, attendees were given an introduction to Lea Michele?s accomplishments before her commencement speech. After her being introduced, about a minute and a half of awkward silence rang out through the church. Finally, Michele appeared from backstage, phone in hand, live streaming the event.
?Everybody say hi,? she says. ?Are you all waiting for me? That?s embarrassing.?
The former Glee actress says high school was an important part of her personal and professional life. It was as if she had two high school experiences: the real one, where she attended Tenafly High School in New Jersey, and the fake one, where she acted on the set of Glee.
?A lot of you are receiving a lot of attention today, and you deserve it,? she says. ?But I?m here on behalf of our friends at Whirlpool brand to make sure some other special people receive some of the spotlight. That?s your parents.?
Michele asked students to think about all the times their parents supported them, encouraged them and picked them up after making a mistake. She says behind every graduate at Uplift Peak and the 3.6 million others that make up the class of 2018 in the U.S., is a lifetime of care.
?Congrats, parents, for making it through the early mornings, and late nights,? she says. ?For thousands of simple acts of care day in and day out throughout your lives.?
Michele says she is an only child, and her parents made her the center of their lives. She would not have got through high school if it were not for them, she says.
Her attendance of the Uplift Peak graduation is mildly ironic given recent rumors online of the actress? inability to read. The rumor started with Jaye Hunt and Robert Ackerman, fans of Glee and creators of the podcast One More Thing. However, Michele says she worked hard through high school to obtain a 3.8 grade point average.
?I think it just goes to show that people have a lot of time on their hands,? she says. ?It?s really sad actually.?
[From The Dallas Observer]
So Leas speech focused on her graduation outfit, how accomplished she was for graduating with a high GPA and getting accepted to NYU, and how shes not illiterate like an online conspiracy theory claims, which shes already addressed multiple times. Other than that she parroted Whirlpools talking points and was likely reading a speech given to her by the company. This prep school and two other schools signed on to commencements sponsored by Whirlpool so this isnt entirely on Lea. Its still tacky as hell though.
As for Lea, she cracks me up so much with how into herself and unapologetic she is. She?s always been like this and it?s outrageous and refreshing at the same time. We?re told that we need to put ourselves first, to be gentle to ourselves and to have high self esteem if we want to succeed. Lea has never had a problem with any of that. Maybe she can focus on that during her next sponsored commencement speech.
Thrilled to be here with @whirlpoolusa as the commencement speaker with Uplift Peak Prep today to celebrate the class and parents of 2018! Throughout all of high school my parents supported me every step of the way.. I can?t thank them enough for the years of care and encouragement that always helped me succeed.. I love you mom and dad! Tag someone who helped you growing up! #CongratsParents #EveryDayCare #sponsor
A post shared by Lea Michele (@leamichele) on May 25, 2018 at 9:50am PDT