‘Atlanta’ Season 3 Cast and Crew Encountered Racism Filming in the U.K.

FX‘s Atlanta Season 3 filmed in England. The show will deal with Earn (Donald Glover) and Paper Boi (Brian Tyree Henry)’s encounters abroad. But the cast and crew met some real life Brits so outrageous they couldn’t have even made it up.

'Atlanta' stars Brian Tyree Henry and Donald Glover stand wearing lanyards
L-R: Brian Tyree Henry and Donald Glover | Guy D’Alema/FX

Atlanta executive producers Stephen Glover and Stefani Robinson were on a Television Critics Association Zoom panel on Feb. 17. They shared a story about meeting casual racists on the street. Atlanta Season 3 premieres March 24

‘Atlanta’ Season 3 filmed under COVID-19 safety protocols

Atlanta already took a planned hiatus after season 2. When they were ready to film Atlanta season 3, the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak occurred. They filmed the season once protocols were in place to do so safely, but they were not prepared for the locals. 

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“We were going to go grab a drink around the corner,” Stephen Glover said. “We walk to this bar right around the corner from the house. They’re closed. We’re like, ‘Aw, we missed this,’ whatever. We’re outside of it and this group of people walk up. Maybe one of them kind of notices Donald or recognizes him. She stops and they start asking if they know anywhere around here to get something to drink. I think we’re talking to them for a second. It’s like this girl and two or three guys.”

The racist comments that set the tone for ‘Atlanta’ Season 3’s U.K. shoot

Atlanta already deals with racism and other relevant themes. This real life encounter proved the show is still necessary. The first remark was almost more bewildering than it was racist, and it was pretty darn racist. A bunch of Hollywood artists in town to make Atlanta Season 3 encountered racist assumptions.

“Anyway, one of the guys, he’s kind of drunk but he just kind of starts, I don’t know,” Glover continued. “At first he makes a comment about. ‘Oh, is this bar open? You guys can get in because you guys all carry hammers.’ 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 ignore.”

Robinson clarified that it took all of the Atlanta Season 3 team quite a while to figure out what the guy was implying about hammers.

“We don’t understand it,” Robinson said. “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.”

Racism escalated from there 

Glover concluded the story with the most bizarre and offensive part. 

“So then the girl is still talking to us and the two other guys walk up the street a little bit,” Glover said. “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. He’s like, ‘Run, they’re going to rape you.’ The girl was like, ‘I’m sorry’ and is being taken away. So it was pretty bad.”

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