In an exclusive interview, Donald Glover talked about his experience working with Chevy Chase in Community, where he endured racist jokes from the actor. Dan Harmon likewise revealed how Glover responded to the jokes.
In the middle of talking about his hit FX series Atlanta, Glover briefly touched on the subject of race in his interview with The New Yorker. The actor responded to a revelation from Harmon that Chase would often disrupt Glover's scenes in Community with racist jokes.
"People think you're funnier because you're black," was one of the jokes Chase would interject in between takes. According to Harmon, Glover perceived his costar's behavior as that of insecurity. He saw how immensely talented the actor was and expressed his jealousy by trying to throw him off.
The showrunner remembered having to apologize to Glover one time after Chase bombarded him with non-PC verbiage one night. Harmon remembered that the actor did not take the racist jokes personally and replied he doesn't worry about it.
"I just saw Chevy as fighting time — a true artist has to be O.K. with his reign being over. I can't help him if he's thrashing in the water. But I know there's a human in there somewhere — he's almost too human," Harmon remembered Glover said.
Chase has since responded to Glover, saying that he was "saddened to hear" that the Atlanta star perceived him in that light.
Glover played the role of the washed-up jock named Troy in Community. He portrayed the character for five seasons in the NBC sitcom. Harmon continued the series for another season without Glover, who left the series to pursue other careers.
In the same interview, Glover talked about his stint as Lena Dunham's love interest in the second season of Girls. He portrayed the role of Sandy, a black Republican. Glover's addition in the series was perceived as a ploy to satisfy critics who called out the lack of diversity in the show. Still, Dunham had nothing but praises for the actor.
The actress recalled that at least twenty people have expressed their interest to make a show similar to Atlanta. She responded with a reference to Glover's impressive talent.
"Oh, you mean a show that toggles between painful drama and super-surrealist David Lynch moments to take on race in America? That's not a genre — that's Donald,'" Dunham recalled replying.
Now, Glover has moved on from racist jokes and made a name for himself in the industry from his show Atlanta, of which he is a creator. The show received praises and a Golden Globe win that FX renewed it for a second season, which will air on March 3.