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Donald Glover And His “Atlanta” Co-Writers Recalled The Racism And


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“We are just standing there, like, ‘What just happened?'”

The critically-acclaimed cast and crew of Donald Glover‘s Atlanta will make their anticipated return to television next month, when the FX series’ third season debuts after an extended hiatus.

We know few details about the comedy-drama’s upcoming installment, although its mesmerizing trailer confirms at least one of our favorites — Brian Tyree Henry — will reprise his leading role in a handful of new settings across Europe.

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Donald and his Atlanta co-writers, Stefani Robinson and Stephen Glover, shared a bit more about filming season three during an appearance at the Television Critics Association’s virtual winter press tour this week.

Marcus Ingram / WireImage via Getty Images

While discussing production and sharing plans for the show’s future — Atlanta will end with season four later this year — Donald, Stefani, and Stephen recounted an incident where locals harassed them on the street with racist remarks. They were filming on location in London at the time.

Gregg Deguire / FilmMagic via Getty Images

“It was the first night there. This group of people walks up. And maybe one of them kind of notices Donald or recognizes him,” said Stephen, noting how the group consisted of one woman and “two or three” men who were clearly intoxicated. “And she stops and they start asking if they know anywhere around here to get something to drink. I think we were talking to them for a second.”

Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

Recognizing a nearby bar was closed, Stephen said the group went on to suggest Atlanta‘s crew members could forcibly enter the establishment because “you guys all carry hammers.” Hammer is a slang term for gun.

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“Mind you, all of the writers on Atlanta are Black. So, he’s making a reference that we all have hammers, and we can just break into this place, which we kind of ignored,” he shared.

Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

“It was so insulting but not insulting at the same time because it took us five minutes to fully understand,” Stefani added. “He got to a point of like if the insinuation was lost on us, he got specific and he was like, ‘You guys are Black, you’ve gone to jail and you do things like that.’ Like he kept doubling down on it.”

Kevin Winter / Getty Images

As the trio explained, the woman continued talking to them after her friends left the area. “Then, after a minute, the guy just runs back down the street and grabs her and throws her over his shoulder, and he’s like, ‘Run. They are going to rape you, like rape you,'” Stephen recalled. “The girl was literally, like, ‘I’m sorry,’ as she’s being taken away. So, it was pretty bad.”

Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

“We are just standing there,” Donald said. “Like, ‘What just happened?'”

Emma Mcintyre / Getty Images for BAFTA LA

Atlanta‘s third season premieres March 24 on FX.

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