In a profile published today, Donald Glover gave GQ’s Mark Anthony Green his take on the generally lukewarm, sometimes angry public attitude toward the third season of Atlanta. The season, which aired in March 2022, six months before the premiere of the series’ fourth and final series (which received a much more favorable critical response), was an experimental endeavor. Set in Europe and regularly exploring tangential storylines, it often meandered far afield from the show’s central plot.
“I wanted to do it like all these other [auteurs],” Glover told Green. “Quentin Tarantino makes two good movies and then he’s allowed to make a bad one. And people will defend him and say, ‘I know what he’s capable of.’” Shortly thereafter, he clarified that season three isn’t, in fact, “bad.”
“This has nothing to do with the art, because I made sure that the art was good,” he continued. “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***a 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?’”