Donald Glover recently sat down in an extensive profile for the upcoming second season of his FX show Atlanta. However, between talks of initially getting the show off the ground and what to expect in the new season, Glover offered insight towards his algorithmic thinking process, thoughts on his career as a whole, and how race plays a part in it all.
Beginning as a sketch comic and traversing his career as an writer, television actor, musician, and now a Hollywood star/director, Glover details being a black creator in the limelight, the responsibilities that come with it, all the while navigating through white executives who can never connect with his material, no matter how true to form they may be.
He touches on his perception within the black community, from back when his quirks were shunned to now being accepted due to his accumulation of power in the business. He also talks about presenting black experiences in his show as accurately as possible, often having these ideas translated through a “black translator” to comprehend and ease FX execs of Glover’s intentions, who wanted the format to follow other black shows like Black-Ish.
His worldview has also changed extensively as the years have progressed, often finding his greatness to be a burden. When asked if there’s anything he’s bad at, he responds:
“To be honest, no. Probably just people. People don’t like to be studied, or bested. I’m fine with it. I don’t really like people that much. People accept me now because I have power, but they still think, Oh, he thinks he’s the golden flower of the black community, thinks he’s so different. But I am, though! I feel like Jesus. I do feel chosen. My struggle is to use my humanity to create a classic work—but I don’t know if humanity is worth it, or if we’re going to make it. I don’t know if there’s much time left.”