The Glee cast and crew were rocked to the core by Naya Rivera's passing, but they're making sure her family is taken care of. Rivera is survived by her 4-year-old son, Josey, who's seen an outpouring of love and support after the loss of his mother. For starters, the creators of Glee started a college fund for Naya Rivera's son.
Rivera's body was recovered on July 13 after the actress was missing for five days following a boating trip with her son. While Josey was found safe and sound on the boat, his mother had died in an apparent drowning, Ventura country officials said in a press conference. As fans mourn her death, the show that propelled her to stardom has proven to be a beacon of her legacy. The creators of Glee — Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, and Ian Brenna — released a statement to The Hollywood Reporter on July 14 honoring Rivera, and in addition to highlighting her legacy, they revealed they would be creating a college fund for little Josey.
“Naya wasn’t a series regular when we cast her on Glee,” the statement began. “She didn’t have more than a few lines in the pilot. But it didn’t take more than an episode or two for us to realize that we had lucked into finding one of the most talented, special stars we would ever have the pleasure of working with … She was a joy to write for, a joy to direct and a joy to be around.”
The trio of screenwriters went on to reflect on how Rivera's Glee character, Santana Lopez, captured the hearts of fans across America with her on-screen relationship with Brittany Pierce.
“It was one of the first times an openly lesbian, high school relationship was seen on network television and Naya understood what ‘Brittana’ meant to the many young women who were seeing themselves represented on television for the first time,” they said. “Naya always made sure that Santana’s love for Brittany was expressed with dignity, strength, and with pure intentions. Naya was always moved by the girls who reached out to her to tell her how much Santana and Brittany’s love affected them.”
Finally, the show's creators explained how they plan to be there for Rivera's family moving forward.
"Our hearts go out to her family, especially her mom, Yolanda, who was a big part of the Glee family and her son Josey. The three of us are currently in the process of creating a college fund for the beautiful son Naya loved most of all," they said.