The Real Reason Donald Glover Left Community During Season 5

Most people who pay close attention to pop
culture are aware of Donald Glover’s extreme range of talents. He’s the Emmy-winning creator, writer, star,
and occasional director of the FX series Atlanta, the Grammy-winning rapper Childish Gambino,
and even the young version of Lando Calrissian. But before Glover was all of those things
and more, he was shining bright as the lovable jock Troy Barnes on the beloved sitcom Community. “You’d be surprised at how many of your favorite
football players got started at community college. “Really, name one. Who’s your favorite player?” “Me, whoa.” Running for six seasons between 2009 and 2015,
Community focused on the bizarre and whimsical exploits of a group of seven students attending
a community college. It was never a huge hit in the ratings, but
it had a devoted fanbase and helped kickstart the careers of its cast members. Sadly, during the hiatus in 2013 between Community’s
fourth and fifth seasons, it was announced that Glover would be leaving the show at some
point during the upcoming season. NBC wound up cancelling Community after season
5, and though the now-defunct streaming service Yahoo! Screen revived it for a sixth season, it never
fully recovered its early magic without Glover around anymore. So why did he leave in the first place? Let’s investigate. In 2011, during Community’s third season,
NBC put the show on an indefinite hiatus. While it did return later that season, it
was an ominous sign of what was to come. In May 2012, after the third season ended,
Sony Television, which produced the show, fired creator Dan Harmon. Then after a rocky season 4, regular cast
member Chevy Chase left the show as well, in the wake of his increasingly aggressive
and reportedly racist on-set behavior. Considering all this turmoil, it’s not all
that surprising that Glover decided to take the star power he gained from Community and
try something new on a show that was decidedly calmer behind the scenes. In August 2013, it was announced that Glover
was creating the half-hour comedy-drama Atlanta for FX. Though Harmon eventually returned for Community’s
fifth season and even managed to persuade Glover to appear on five episodes before truly
calling it quits, he admitted that Glover had outgrown the series. A few months after Glover announced his impending
departure from Community, he revealed that his reasons for leaving were more than just
professional in nature. In October 2013, he posted to Instagram a
series of letters explaining that he left Community because he wanted to be on his own
and was working through difficult events in his personal life that made him reassess what
he truly wanted to do. He admitted to a ton of fears, including that
he was worried that Dan Harmon hated him, that he was scared of “letting everyone down”
by moving on from Community, and that he believed his future projects might fail. That kind of stress adds up. “ahh.” Nevertheless, he said that he wanted to release
his album Because the Internet that Christmas to give people hope for the next year. Shortly thereafter, Glover clarified his jumbled
thoughts in an interview with VIBE, noting that his heart really wasn’t in it anymore
and while Community was a great show, it wasn’t his show. “I just want to make dope,dope s— from
now on, like on my own terms.” In 2016, Glover was more direct about his
decision to depart from Community. Two years after his last episode aired and
a year after the show wrapped for good, he revealed that he chose to leave partially
because he appreciates the future opportunities that endings create. At the Television Critics Association summer
tour, Glover explained that while he wasn’t trying to run away from Community, he feels
that every good thing must come to an end in order for growth to happen. This, of course, includes his run on the sitcom. As he explained, “I just like endings. I think everything should have death clauses
in them like humans have death clauses […] It’s important that things end. It forces events to progress.” Since leaving Community, Glover has received
seven Emmy nominations, including two wins, and seven Grammy nominations, including five
wins. As for Glover’s fears about his Community
colleagues’ resenting him for leaving them behind, they appear to have nothing but love
and admiration for him. Troy’s sailing endeavor may not have gone
well, but Glover’s horizon is burning bright. “Now, Troy, I know it’s gonna be difficult
for you to interact with me.” “No, no. That was the original Troy. I’m his clone. Let’s get the lead out, Burton.” Check out one of our newest videos right here! Plus, even more Looper videos about your favorite
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