Details about Donald Glover's new FX series Atlanta have been leaking out slowly, but now that the show's premiere is around the corner, Glover is finally opening up more about the hotly anticipated project. In a new interview with New York Magazine, Glover details his creative process, his desires for the show, and dealing with the suits at FX.
“I wanted to show white people, you don’t know everything about black culture,” he said. “I know it’s very easy to feel that way. Like, I get it, you can hear about the 'Nae Nae' the day it comes out... You follow Hood Vines, and you have your one black friend and you think they teach you everything." Part of doing this meant hiring an entirely black writer's room, a sight that is almost completely unprecedented in Hollywood.
Another part means offering a new perspective on cultural staples, like Catcher in the Rye for example. “When we were kids, it didn’t make sense to us," Glover explained. "This dude is like, ‘Everybody’s phony’ — that’s such a white struggle, not realizing until you’re a teenager that adults are full of shit. Black people learn that real early.”
He noted that FX was always supportive of his vision, but that some of the higher-ups didn't always understand it. Glover cited them wanting the rapper/drug dealer main character to live in a trap house as an example. We were like, ‘No, he’s a drug dealer, he makes enough money to live in a regular apartment,’” he said.
Ultimately, Glover wants the show to be viewed as more than just PC "Clapter," where people appreciate things because they think they're supposed to rather than because they're actually funny. “The No. 1 thing we kept coming back to is that it needs to be funny first and foremost. I never wanted this shit to be important. I never wanted this show to be about diversity; all that shit is wack to me. There’s a lot of clapter going on. A lot of niggas be like …” — Glover started clapping exaggeratedly — “‘So true, yes, so, so true.’ But what you did isn’t funny; they’re just clapping and laughing to be on the right side of history.”
You can check out the full profile over at New York Magazine, and watch Atlanta when it premieres on FX on Sept. 6.