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Donald Glover and 'Atlanta' Black writers racially harassed with 'guns and jail' joke

Donald and brother Stephen open up about racial harassment in London during the filming of 'Atlanta', say 'It was so insulting'
UPDATED FEB 21, 2022
Stephen Glover (L) and Donald Glover at the Annual Post-Golden Globes Party at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 8, 2017. (Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
Stephen Glover (L) and Donald Glover at the Annual Post-Golden Globes Party at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 8, 2017. (Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Despite over a year of protests and widespread media coverage, it seems racism is still well and truly alive. On February 17, Donald Glover and his brother Stephen opened up about being racially harassed while filming the third season of 'Atlanta' in the UK. "It was so insulting, but not insulting at the same time," summed up Stephen about the harassment, which occurred during their first night of filming in London.

As a result of the Black Lives Matter movement, more and more celebrities have openly come forth to slam racist behavior. In April 2020, the internet praised Delroy Lindo after he egged a newscaster on to say the n-word as part of a debate on racism on CBS' 'The Good Fight'. Exactly a year later, during his 'Saturday Night Live' debut, Daniel Kaluuya mocked the British Royal Family over the controversy of Meghan Markle's child


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Now, the Glover brothers have come forward to recount being racially harassed along with the writing staff of 'Atlanta', all of whom are Black. The duo didn't identify their harassers by name but certainly didn't shy away from diving into detail during the Television Critics Association's virtual winter press conference. 

Donald Glover attends "Atlanta Robbin' Season" Atlanta Premiere at Starlight Six Drive-In on February 26, 2018, in Atlanta, Georgia. (Paras Griffin/Getty Images)

'You guys are Black, you've gone to jail'

It's unclear when exactly the incident occurred, but the Glover brothers noted it was during their time in London. The two of them, along with co-writer Stefani Robinson was standing outside a closed bar in the city when they were approached by a group of drunk people. "Maybe one of them kind of notices Donald or recognizes him. 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," recounted Stephen, who serves as writer and executive producer on the FX series.

The group then struck up a conversation with the three, before things turned offensive. One of the men told them, "you guys all carry hammers," referencing guns. "He's making a reference that we all have hammers, and we can just break into this place," Stephen said of the statement, adding that they ignored it. "It was so insulting, but not insulting at the same time because it took us five minutes to fully understand," Robinson said. The writer 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." 

Most of the group then walked away, but a girl remained to chat with the Glover brothers and Robinson. "She's talking to us. And 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'," Robinson said. Donald described the situation as confusing, saying, "We are just standing there, like, 'What just happened?'". 

Only the girl seemed apologetic about the incident, but it appears the 'Atlanta' team has since moved on from the incident. They finished shooting season three of the hit show, and even season four. The third season will premier on March 24, with the fourth coming sometime in the fall.