Chidi Anagonye is jacked. Since William Jackson Harper’s character on The Good Place is a moral philosophy professor, the fact that he is in incredible shape could be considered one of the bigger twists in the show’s entire run. There were clues and this is not the first time that Harper has appeared topless on the show (in Chidi’s sex tape with Eleanor he keeps his blanket pulled up to his shoulders) but this is the first time the Internet got a good look at the actor.
That’s why Harper going shirtless got such a big reaction. Brian Grubb took the time to break down the reasons why it does and doesn’t make sense for the actual character, but most people are just in shock. The person most shocked by the scene was Harper himself. Via Shadow and Act:
“I do not like taking my shirt in public, so, this episode, I’m facing one of my 5 biggest fears,” he tells Shadow and Act just a few hours before the episode aired. “It was pretty nerve-wracking, honestly.”
The fear started when he was bullied in childhood. “I grew up sort of an awkward, chubby kid and I got made fun of a lot,” says the 38-year-old actor and playwright. “It just sort of stays with you, even now at this age, as a very, very grown ass man, I’m still scared of it.”
Presumably the non-stop positive reaction will help with that fear. The question now becomes, would certain moral philosophers encourage him to continue taking off his shirt because it brings the most joy to the most people. We really need Eleanor’s take on this one.