‘Atlanta’ Season 3 Is About ‘the Curse of Whiteness,’ Stephen and Donald Glover Say

The FX comedy Atlanta presents a unique take on the Black experience living in Atlanta, GA and in show business. Donald Glover and his brother Stephen write the show with Stefani Robinson and the writing staff. They show the characters in their environment at home, but also Earn (Donald Glover) and Paper Boi (Brian Tyree Henry)’s music career. Atlanta Season 3 will attempt to interrogate “the curse of whiteness,” Stephen Glover said. 

'Atlanta' Season 3: Donald Glover sits on a white sofa
Donald Glover | Coco Olakunle/FX

The Glovers were on a Television Critics Association Zoom panel with their cast and fellow creators. Atlanta Season 3 premieres March 24 at 10 p.m. on FX and streams Fridays on Hulu.

‘Atlanta’ Season 3 and ‘the curse of whiteness’

Stephen Glover said he heard a television pundit talk about racism from the White perspective. That contributed to inspiring Atlanta Season 3’s theme. 

“Season 3 is about curses and the curse of whiteness,” he said. “I can’t remember the guy’s name on CNN, but he had that speech where he talks about White people freeing themselves from the curse of racism, and we talked about that in the writers’ room a lot. And I think you’ll see that in a lot of the episodes, this idea.”

The ‘Atlanta’ creators experienced oblivious White people around the world 

Robinson and Glover spoke on the panel about encountering racists while filming Atlanta Season 3 in London. Even prior to that, Stephen Glover said well-meaning international fans still made racial faux pas.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C7ZONMc4p84

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“Years ago, I remember we went to Canada, and there was somebody there who was, like, ‘Oh, yeah. There’s no racism in Canada. You guys must be happy to be here.  There’s no racism here.’” He said. “And we were, like, ‘Really?’ Like, you would go to Europe, and it’s kind of like James Baldwin and all of these people. It’s like, ‘There’s no racism here. You Black people can finally be yourself.’”  

Atlanta Season 3 will return to the city of its title and interrogate the way racism affects White society too.

“When you are from the South and you are American especially, you can see things differently,” he continued. “And I think White people have blind spots, obviously, to race and things that are going on, and they are affected by this too. It’s not just Black people who are going through it and having a hard time. You are actually affected by it too. So, I think the first episode does a perfect job of showing how both sides are affected by this.”

For ‘Atlanta’ Donald Glover had to research White people

The first episode of Atlanta Season 3 shows a Black boy taken away from his mother by Child Protective Services and placed with a family of White mothers and siblings. Their attempts to be color blind are even worse. Donald Glover said to make Atlanta Season 3 accurate, he and his staff had to do some research on White people.

“We had decided in the writers’ room we want season 3 to be about white people,” he said. “And then we were, like  we had to do research, like a lot of research. We had to really think not like us, which was really kind of cool because it gives you a really cool, interesting perspective on a lot of things. I felt like that was the most fun. Yeah, Season 3 is really about, I guess, whiteness and curses.”

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