Donald Glover says people criticizing his FX series Atlanta for not being Black enough sound like they’re in “fourth grade.”
Glover, who created and stars in the series, made the comment Tuesday at the virtual Television Critics Association summer press tour. He was responding to fans — mostly on social media — who say the Emmy-winning series doesn’t offer a realistic depiction of the Black community.
“I do a lot of this s–t for the people,” Glover told reporters, according to Entertainment Weekly. “So if you’re sitting there being like, ‘Oh, this is misogynoir,’ I’m wondering why you think that and why you think I feel that way when I’m nothing without my people. It’s just kind of whack to me. Some of that to me is just internet people trying to get hot, which is also something we learned in the system we’re in.”
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He added that “the conversation isn’t as elevated as it should be,” when it comes to discussions about his show.
“There are better ways to talk about it rather than like with sh-t I’ve heard in fourth grade about who we are because I feel this is such a Black show,” he said. “To say it’s only for white people, it’s like we’re cutting ourselves down which is kind of whack to me…”
His brother Stephen Glover, who is an executive producer on the series, chimed in saying he dismisses the criticism.
“But I will also say being in Atlanta and walking around, or even like in L.A., I run into Black people all the time who tell me this is their favorite show and how they appreciate everything we do,” Stephen said. “They also say we’re making them want to do cooler and weirder stuff … So for me, that’s the real kind of conversations that are happening out there. Internet stuff isn’t always real.”
Atlanta centers on music manager “Earn” (Glover) and his rapper-cousin “Paper Boi” (Brian Tyree Henry).
Season 3, the most recent that aired, followed followed Earn, Paper Boi, “Darius” (LaKeith Stanfield) and “Van” (Zazie Beetz) as they embarked on a European tour.
But some viewers criticized the season on social media for its portrayal of Black women. An article on Okayplayer said the show “continues to come up short in its depictions of Black women,” adding that they were characterized as “being loud” and “aggressive.”
Viewers will get a chance to see more and sound off again, when the fourth and final season of Atlanta premieres Thursday, Sept. 15 at 10 p.m. on FX.