Donald Glover Explains 'Community' Departure (Kind of) In An Emotional Letter
The Community... community has been in quiet agony since the announcement this summer that beloved Troy Barnes portrayer Donald Glover would be making his exit from the show. Under this layer of agony, also, was one of confusion — because we'd never really gotten any kind of explanation as to what led to Glover's decision to leave. And now it turns out the assumptions we've been piling up in the months since the announcement might have been down the wrong path, because Donald Glover has written a series of Community -related notes to his fans — and now we're even more confused.
The aforementioned assumptions surrounding Glover's departure have mainly been that he was leaving to focus on other creative pursuits — his new show on FX, for instance, or his rap career. According to Glover, though, that wasn't what made him say goodbye to his most recognizable role. Glover did some explaining on a handwritten note on some hotel stationary ("I wanted to be on my own") and posted it on Instagram. But really it just left us with more questions. A lot more questions. A plethora, if you will.
We recommend you go read the entire thing (below). Here are some of those questions we have:
Why is he staying at the Residence Inn Marriott?
Figured we'd get the lightest of the questions out of the way first. But we do wonder.
What kind of sick are we talking here?
"I've been sick this year. I've seen a bunch of people die this year," Glover writes. This is where our emotions veered and we started deeply relating to that Troy Barnes "MY WHOLE BRAIN IS CRYING" moment.
WHAT KIND OF SICK, DONALD?! We obviously have no right to know — we're not his friends or his family and it's his business what he does with that information. Losing people you care about can be some of the most epically tough business around, so it sounds like he's going through a lot. Still, we're worried. Should we be worried, Donald?
Why all the fear?
Glover goes into depth about all the things he's afraid of right now — "I'm afraid this is all an accident," "I'm afraid Dan Harmon hates me," "I'm afraid I'll regret this," etc. And our question is actually rhetorical with this one, because we get it. That quarter-life crisis thing so many twentysomethings go through — will people who know us ever be able to fully let us grow up? We get it. He mentions wanting to be remembered for something other than that Derrick "Bro Rape" sketch that first got him noticed.
That existential angst you feel when you're afraid you've lost track of what matters and you just want some grand force to point you in the right direction? But at the same time you want to do it entirely yourself because this is one of the first times in your life you're really exercising your own agency? Glover has felt all of that too. "Kept looking for something to be in," he writes. "Follow someone's blueprint."
So, no: We did not get a plethora of neat and concrete answers into the process of Glover leaving Community. But we did get a lot more questions, and a truly interesting peek into the mind of someone who, at the root of it, is just a young man trying to find his place in the world, both as a creative person and just as that, a person. And — to end this with just the maximum amount of cheese possible — maybe those questions are even more important?
Here is what he wrote, along with a favorite Troy Barnes moment and a favorite Childish Gambino moment, the latter of which seems incredibly relevant right now.