Donald Glover has revealed in a new interview that he was upset over the backlash Season 3 of his hit TV series Atlanta received from fans.

In a wide-ranging interview with GQ on Tuesday (April 4), Glover (also known as Childish Gambino), shared his perspective on the particular season and started by saying that if he gave fans Season 4 of Atlanta as opposed to Season 3, then that would’ve been “letting them down.”

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“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 told GQ. “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.”

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“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.”

Donald Glover Explains How Jordan Peele Convinced Liam Neeson To Appear In ‘Atlanta’

Donald Glover Explains How Jordan Peele Convinced Liam Neeson To Appear In ‘Atlanta’

This isn’t the first time Donald Glover has faced backlash regarding a directorial project that he was at the helm of. Last month, Glover came under fire for his directorial treatment of Dominique Fishback in the new Amazon Prime Video series, Swarm.

The actor, director and rapper told Vulture that he intentionally decided not to talk to Fishback about her character Dre’s backstory because he wanted the viewers to create their own humanistic interpretation of the volatile character.

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“I kept telling her, ‘You’re not regular people,” he said. “You don’t have to find the humanity in your character. That’s the audience’s job.’ ”