Donald Glover Says The Cast And Crew Of ‘Atlanta’ Were Racially Harassed While Filming In London

FX’s hit series Atlanta finally returns this spring after nearly four years and several lifetimes since the second season graced our screens. The highly-anticipated third season will air on March 24th, and show-runner Donald Glover confirmed that the fourth season will be its last, to air later in the fall.

The upcoming season will take place primarily in Europe, where the crew filmed most of the season. During a recent TCA press tour, series screenwriter Stephen Glover (Donald’s brother) recalled how different it was to film in London vs. the States.

“This group of people walks up. And maybe one of them kind of notices Donald or recognizes him, Glover said. “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. It’s this girl and two or three guys.”

On the first night abroad, the crew were harassed and racially profiled by a group of locals, who accused them of trying to break into a closed bar. One of the harassers insisted the team must be carrying “hammers,” aka guns.

“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,” Glover added. Show co-writer Stefani Robinson chimed in, “It was so insulting but not insulting at the same time because it took us five minutes to fully understand. 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.”

It gets worse, as Glover describes talking to the woman. “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.’ The girl was literally, like, ‘I’m sorry,’ as she’s being taken away. So, it was pretty bad. We are just standing there, like, ‘What just happened?'”

Despite the horrifying interaction, the team was able to shoot the season in Europe, in addition to finishing the fourth and final season. Donald Glover says he doesn’t feel sad about the series ending, since the show progressed so naturally. “The story was always supposed to be what it was. And the story, it really was us. Everybody in that writers’ room, everybody on set. It really was what we were going through and what we talked about…I think it ends perfectly.”

Season three airs on March 24th on FX, streaming on Hulu the day after.