Donald Glover shrugged off Chevy Chase’s racially charged remarks during the filming of TV show Community.
Donald and the comedy veteran starred alongside each other in the TV comedy following a gang of misfits studying at a community college from 2009 until 2014, when the younger star quit the show.
In a new profile of the Atlanta creator, editors at The New Yorker magazine claim Chevy, 74, tried to disrupt his African-American colleague’s scenes by making racially insensitive remarks, such as, “People think you’re funnier because you’re black.”
Asked what he thought of his co-star’s behavior, Donald said, “I just saw Chevy as fighting time – a true artist has to be O.K. with his reign being over. I can’t help him if he’s thrashing in the water. But I know there’s a human in there somewhere – he’s almost too human.”
Community creator Dan Harmon explained that he saw Chevy’s actions as being motivated by his jealousy over the 34-year-old writer, actor and rapper’s talent – and that the younger man took everything in his stride.
“Chevy was the first to realize how immensely gifted Donald was, and the way he expressed his jealousy was to try to throw Donald off,” he explained. “I remember apologizing to Donald after a particularly rough night of Chevy’s non-P.C. verbiage, and Donald said, ‘I don’t even worry about it.'”
Responding to his co-star’s comments, Chevy told The New Yorker, “I am saddened to hear that Donald perceived me in that light.”
The magazine’s profile also revealed that the two-time Emmy Award winner’s big break in comedy writing, on Tina Fey’s media satire 30 Rock, was helped by U.S. network NBC’s diversity initiative.
Tina revealed that she admired the then aspiring writer’s work, but admitted to him that her decision to hire him was helped by the fact that funding from the network’s programme promoting non-white talent, “made him free”.