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‘Atlanta’: Stephen Glover on Getting Emmy Noms With His Brother Donald, Season 2 and the ‘Deadpool’ Series

Plus, the rapper/TV writer on those hilarious prison scenes, the crazy episode blurbs, and the danger that’s always been present in America.

ATLANTA -- "Nobody Beats The Biebs" -- Episode 105 (Airs Tuesday, September 27, 10:00 pm e/p) Pictured: (l-r) Donald Glover as Earnest Marks, Brian Tyree Henry as Alfred Miles. CR: Guy D'Alema/FX

Donald Glover and Brian Tyree Henry, “Atlanta”

Guy D'Alema/FX

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Looking back, Glover is grateful for how well the show has been received. “Atlanta” snagged the Golden Globe for best comedy and has earned five Emmy nominations. “It’s been crazy because even with the Golden Globe and Writer’s Guild award it’s all been surprising to me that we’ve gotten so much love, so soon,” he said. “That was such an early script that I wrote too, that’s being nominated, which is definitely weird in a way. I’m still kind of taking it in, which is the weird thing. It’s funny because I feel like I’ve gotten better in this past year. I’ve learned a lot more, and I’ve gotten better at my craft.”

One way he’s exercising his newly acquired skills is on the Marvel “Deadpool” animated series that he’ll be co-showrunning, executive producing and writing with his brother for FXX.

“It’s going good. I’m having fun with that,” he said. “A show we really like and like to watch is ‘American Dad.’ I feel like this a good opportunity to get some of that creative energy from that out. We’ve always been really into cartoons. My dad loves Bugs Bunny cartoons. We watched those all the time growing up. Man, we watched that Chipmunks cartoon so many times but it’s always been kind of a dream of mine to do a cartoon. And Deadpool is such a good character for us because he can really do so many things.”

Stephen Glover and Donald Glover

Stephen Glover and Donald Glover

Owen Kolasinski/BFA/REX/Shutterstock

Glover is also gearing up to return to “Atlanta” for its second season.

“I think what’s important with Season 2 is making sure that people understand how it feels to live in the city of Atlanta,” he said. “It’s a very unique experience in the south, which is a super-racist place, but at the same time it’s one of the blackest places in the world probably in terms of African-American. That culture is drenched all over it. There’s so many layers to the life that people are living there, even down to rap music. You can find all of the things that you hear people rap about in Atlanta. That life is really there. There’s really tragedy and triumph in this city that’s so specific though. I think with Season 2 that’s the big goal, to get people to feel that.”

The story of “Atlanta” is more important than ever now that the country as a whole is waking up to the violent realities of the racial divide. Following the horrifying events in Charlottesville, where a counter-protestor was killed and 19 more were injured by a car driven by a white supremacist, there was a debate about whether or not more counter-protests should be held at rallies. Glover understands the need to act and speak up, but he wonders about the different options available and what they can accomplish.

“I remember my mom used to always tell me, ‘There’s going to be people out here who don’t like you for no reason,'” Glover said. “You can’t just get into a shouting match with every single person who hates your guts a little bit because it starts to become like, do you want to actually change their minds? Then that’s not the way to do it, to go out there and meet them in that setting because there is no constructive criticism with that.

“Same thing with Twitter. I can’t tweet David Duke right now and say, ‘Hey, you’re wrong about racism.’ It’s not the forum for that. It’s not the place where that can be constructively talked about. Maybe if he decides to respond just to me and we actually tweet back and forth or something. But that’s so hard to do. I feel like that’s what people have to start realizing is, what are we actually trying to accomplish? Do we want to teach people and have a constructive dialogue? Let’s do that. That’s not a rally. Two huge groups coming at each other in a rally, nobody learns anything, especially not a white supremacist. He’s not going to  be like, ‘Oh, you know what? Black lives do matter, actually.’ He came there with a gun and 10 of his racist friends. His mind’s not being changed there.”

"Atlanta"

“Atlanta”

FX

“Atlanta” may not delve into specific current events, but it does represent the danger, the duality that has always been present in America.

“I think even with Season 2 there are things that you want to carve out where it’s like, yeah maybe you do feel the danger is real now, but this danger has been going on for a while and why is that?” he said. “We’ve known that it’s dangerous forever. Now what? What are you willing to do as a human? Do you want to change that and how do we do that when the world is this kind of huge machine where you feel like can I change it? ‘I’m just one person.’ I feel that’s an excuse a lot of people use. ‘I’m just one person, I can’t change it, so things keep going.’ I think in Season 2 we’re going to kind of learn a little bit of that, which is yeah, Atlanta’s a big place and there’s a lot of the injustices of the world that we live in but the world keeps going. People still keep living.”

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