The actor says he wanted the dark comedy to add to the conversation about diversity.
During a panel at the Television Critics Association's summer press tour, Donald Glover opened up about his new show Atlanta, which follows two cousins in the city's rap scene.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Glover told reporters that he wanted the show to "to show people how it felt to be black." "What was important to me" he said, "was that this show was personal and had a specific take, because that's all you can really ask for from a show nowadays, is having a specific point of view on something."
While FX is promoting the show as a comedy, the actor and executive producers say that the series has a dark tone. "You can't really write that down. You kind of have to feel it, so the tonal aspect was really important to me."
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Hiro Murai, an executive producer, added that there will be times when audiences don't know when to laugh. "We're trying to a create a tone in a world where things can happen, where you are allowed to laugh at the hard jokes … but you can also feel real stakes. People can get shot and die and you actually care about these characters."
Glover added that when it comes to tackling serious subjects on the show, "I always want people to be scared, because that’s kind of how it feels to be black," adding that how black comedians are portrayed in Hollywood has recently changed thanks in part to social media. And, as for his character, despite his success as a rapper, Glover won't be playing one on screen.
"That would be weird, that would be so weird. I wouldn’t have enjoyed that. It's possible to do that but then … that makes it harder for me to do music. It just clouds a lot of things. There's a level of magic realism and suspended disbelief that you need for all genres, and it's important for me as an artist to keep those all in tact."