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Donald Glover’s ‘Massive Insult of White Women’ on ‘Girls’ Was Entirely Improvised

Glover played Dunham's boyfriend in two episodes of "Girls" Season 2, and his most memorable scene was a creation all his own.

"Donald Glover"

Donald Glover, “Girls”


Before Donald Glover became the Emmy-winning creator of FX’s “Atlanta,” he had a brief but memorable guest role on Lena Dunham’s HBO series “Girls.” Facing backlash for not featuring any characters of color in Season 1, Dunham opened Season 2 with her character, Hannah Horvath, in a relationship with Donald Glover’s Sandy. The actor’s arc on the series lasted two episodes and ended with his character breaking up with Hannah and delivering a searing takedown of clueless, privileged white women.

“Oh, I’m a white girl, and I moved to New York and I’m having a great time, and, Oh, I’ve got a fixed-gear bike, and I’m going to date a black guy and we’re going to go to a dangerous part of town,” Sandy says to Hannah, exaggerating his shoulder movements to imitate her white privilege. In a new Glover profile published by The New Yorker (via Vulture), Dunham says the actor improvised the insult.

“Every massive insult of white women was one hundred per cent him,” according to Dunahm. “I e-mailed him later to say, ‘I hope you feel the part on ‘Girls’ didn’t tokenize you,’ and his response was really Donald-y and enigmatic: ‘Let’s not think back on mistakes we made in the past, let’s just focus on what lies in front of us.’”

Donald returns to television next month with the Season 2 premiere of “Atlanta.” When asked about the award-winning FX comedy series, Dunham had this to say: “At least 20 people have told me, ‘I’d like to make something like ‘Atlanta.’’ And I say, ‘Oh, you mean a show that toggles between painful drama and super-surrealist David Lynch moments to take on race in America?’ That’s not a genre — that’s Donald.”

“Atlanta” Season 2 premieres March 3 on FX.

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