Donald Glover says he cried after Atlanta season 3 received backlash. During an interview with GQ, Glover, 39, spoke about seasons 3 and 4 of his hit FX show and revealed that he knew the third chapter would be challenging to digest for audiences.
“As a product maker, as an entertainer, as an artist, as somebody who loves to make things for people… I’ve studied it enough to understand that things feel good because of what comes before and after them,” he said. “We deserve quality. We deserve something that isn’t easy for everyone to digest all the time.”
“I knew season three wasn’t easy. We all knew it wasn’t easy. We knew opening the season without [any of the cast] was going to make people f**king mad and be like, ‘What the f**k?’ It felt like… you’re climbing, and you’re climbing to get to the top where the light is. And when you get there, you can do whatever dance you want. And that’s what everybody’s fighting for.”
After the GQ interviewer told the Atlanta native that they liked the third season, Donald shed light on his creative intentions with that specific chapter.
“I think with me specifically, people never give me the benefit of the doubt,” he said. “And I needed to see for me. This has nothing to do with the art, because I made sure that the art was good. But it really was a personal exploration just for me. No one else knows this, but I was like, Did I make it? Did I make it to the Kanye and the Quentin Tarantino and the Scorsese level? I do think people will go back and be like, ‘This season is good.’ I wasn’t ever worried about that.”
“Like with Wes Anderson, there’s different rules. This ni**a never makes money. It’s not about the money. It’s because a certain group of people are like, ‘This is important.’ And I was like, ‘Are Black people at a point now where they can do that on their own?’ It made me very sad, I cried. I did. Not like, ‘You guys, this is really good.’ [Laughs.] It’s like what Prince said when U2 won best album. He was like, ‘If y’all wanted me to make that album, I could have.’ U2 couldn’t make Sign o’ the Times. But I know the character I am in culture and in Black culture—and that it doesn’t feel good coming from me. And also like, I don’t feel good saying sh*t like that. I’d much rather lay on the empathy.”