Donald Glover rejects criticism that ‘Atlanta’ “isn’t for Black people”: “I feel this is such a Black show”

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Donald Glover has rejected the criticism that his comedy-drama series Atlanta “isn’t for Black people”.

The show, which airs on FX in the US and Disney+ in the UK, follows college dropout Earnest “Earn” Marks (Glover) and rapper Paper Boi (Brian Tyree Henry) as they navigate an otherworldly version of the Atlanta rap scene. The series also stars Lakeith Stanfield and Zazie Beetz.

Through an Afro-surrealist lens, the show examines themes of racism, whiteness, existentialism and modern African-American culture. However, some have suggested that the series is primarily aimed at white people.

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“I feel this is such a Black show,” said Glover while speaking at a Television Critics Association panel on Tuesday (2 August), via Entertainment Weekly. “To say it’s only for white people, it’s like we’re cutting ourselves down which is kind of whack to me.”

Glover argued that a lot of his work is “for the people”, and responded to the criticism that his show displays examples of prejudice towards Black women.

Donald Glover and Zazie Beetz in ‘Atlanta’ season four CREDIT: FX

“I’m wondering why you think that and why you think I feel that way when I’m nothing without my people,” he said.

“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.”

He added: “I feel like a lot of the Black criticism bothers me only because it sounds like [it’s from] Black people who don’t really know what we’ve been through. I don’t think they give a lot of credit to what we’ve gone through.”

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FX recently released a trailer for the fourth and final season of Atlantayou can watch it here.

A synopsis for the season reads: “Season four finds Earn, Paper Boi, Darius and Van back in their hometown. But the question is, has Atlanta changed or have they?”

The first two episodes of Atlanta season four will debut on FX in the US on September 15, and will be available on Hulu the following day. A UK release date is yet to be announced.