In an interview with Billboard published Monday, Lucas was first asked about his pair of Grammy nominations for the 2017 song and video (released just outside the window of 2018 elibility, thus pushing it to now). After explaining that his team isn't actively campaigning for the awards, Lucas presented his Childish Gambino influence theory.
"I feel like 'I'm Not Racist' changed a lot of things, and it caused a lot of damage and opened up room for conversations," Lucas, who co-directed his video with Ben Proulx, said. "Like I pushed the envelope for people like Childish Gambino to come out and make 'This Is America.' I feel like I made him comfortable enough to make a record like that."
Lucas, however, capped off his Gambino theory with some praise for the Hiro Murai-directed "America" video. "I love that video," he said. "I think he's going to win [Best Music Video]—I hope he wins it." Glover and Murai would indeed appear to be the frontrunners in the category, which also counts The Carters' "Apeshit," Tierra Whack's "Mumbo Jumbo," and Janelle Monáe's "Pynk" as contenders.
Hiro Murai, who's also worked extensively with Glover on his FX series Atlanta and an upcoming Rihanna-starring film, previously explained to Deadline the breakneck pace at which he and Glover worked to craft the instaclassic video.
"It kind of goes back to the collaborative process I have with Donald, but I don't think that video could have gotten done in time if I was working with anybody else," he said at the time. "It just sort of intuitively happened. A lot of the decisions we were making were on the fly; we knew what we wanted the video to feel like, and Donald had specific things kind of written out. But the rest of it, we filled in as we were prepping."