According to Billboard, on Tuesday (May 9), the eccentric TV show became one of the only series to win an additional Peabody Award. Donald Glover first nabbed the coveted award for Season 1 of Atlanta in 2016. The show also won two Primetime Emmys back in 2017.
But Glover (also known as Childish Gambino) has been very vocal about the backlash he received for Season 3 of the FX show and how it made him feel.
In an April interview with GQ, Glover shared his perspective on the particular season and started by saying that if he gave fans Season 4 as opposed to Season 3, then that would’ve been “letting them down.”
“As a product maker, as an entertainer, as an artist, as somebody who loves to make things for people… I’ve studied it enough to understand that things feel good because of what comes before and after them,” Glover explained. “We deserve quality. We deserve something that isn’t easy for everyone to digest all the time.”
He continued: “I knew season three wasn’t easy. We all knew it wasn’t easy. We knew opening the season without [any of the cast] was going to make people fucking mad and be like, ‘What the fuck?’ It felt like…you’re climbing and you’re climbing to get to the top where the light is. And when you get there, you can do whatever dance you want. And that’s what everybody’s fighting for.”
After Mark Anthony Green of GQ told Gambino that he didn’t think he thought season three was bad, the multifaceted creative then elaborated further about his thoughts on the season itself. He also spoke about how he felt after critics and fans were disappointed that Season 3 went in a completely different direction than it’s predecessors.
“I think with me specifically, people never give me the benefit of the doubt,” he said. “And I needed to see for me. This has nothing to do with the art, because I made sure that the art was good. But it really was a personal exploration just for me. No one else knows this, but I was like, Did I make it? Did I make it to the Kanye and the Quentin Tarantino and the Scorsese level? I do think people will go back and be like, This season is good. I wasn’t ever worried about that.
“Like with Wes Anderson, there’s different rules. This n-gga never makes money. It’s not about the money. It’s because a certain group of people are like, ‘This is important.’ And I was like, ‘Are Black people at a point now where they can do that on their own?’ ”
He elaborated: “It made me very sad. I cried. I did. Not like, ‘You guys, this is really good.’ [Laughs.] It’s like what Prince said when U2 won best album. He was like, If y’all wanted me to make that album, I could have. U2 couldn’t make Sign o’ the Times. But I know the character I am in culture and in Black culture—and that it doesn’t feel good coming from me. And also like, I don’t feel good saying shit like that. I’d much rather lay on the empathy.”