Donald Glover’s self-interview backfires on social media: ‘He is so cringe’
On Friday, Donald Glover tweeted that he was “looking forward to yall being mad @ me next week.”
Wish granted. Twitter is none too happy with the “Atlanta” creator and star this week after he interviewed himself for Interview magazine. (Yes, you read that correctly.)
Published Thursday, the actor and rapper’s sprawling conversation with himself poses some thought-provoking questions — “What’s a good man to you?” “What does ‘culture’ mean to you?” “Does anyone stay relevant?” — as well as a mix of contemplative and rapid-fire responses touching on everything and everyone from “Atlanta” to Zendaya.
Much like his hit FX series, the exercise is profoundly meta and introspective — to a fault, according to many on Twitter who deemed the article “cringey,” “weird” and “self-aggrandizing.”
Or is it a ‘maximalist’ ‘thought experiment’? Director Hiro Murai explains the FX comedy’s Europe-set third season.
“Donald glover interviewing himself is a great example of how the skills of profilers/critics/interviewers are so undervalued,” tweeted Vulture and New York magazine critic Angelica Jade Bastién. “Let’s let go of auteurism please.”
“I’ve felt icky about this & celebs interviewing other celebs for awhile now,” wrote NBC News journalist Char Adams. “It feels very self-aggrandizing and very much like a way for them to avoid tough questions and transparency. And this is unsurprising considering some of the critique DG is getting about Atlanta [Season 3].”
Representatives for Glover did not immediately respond Thursday to The Times’ request for comment.
One excerpt from the interview that particularly raised eyebrows was a Q&A about the Emmy winner‘s relationship to Black women: “Are you afraid of Black women?” Glover asked — to which Glover replied, “Why are you asking me that?”
“I feel like your relationship to them has played a big part in your narrative,” Glover pressed.
Countered Glover: “I feel like you’re using Black women to question my Blackness.”
In response to screenshots from Huffington Post senior front page editor Philip Lewis highlighting that section of the story, people tweeted: “He is so cringe,” “What a strange man” and “All this incel ever does is talk about black women.”
“This is so weird,” tweeted writer and culture critic Jamilah Lemieux. “Imagine thinking there’s no correlation between your relationship to Black women and your ‘Blackness.’”
“For chaos reasons, now I need a Black woman to interview Donald Glover since he said he’s not afraid of us,” tweeted writer and editor Najma Sharif.
The Interview piece comes shortly after the debut of the highly anticipated third season of “Atlanta” — starring Glover, Bryan Tyree Henry, LaKeith Stanfield and Zazie Beetz. New episodes of the comedy series premiere Thursdays on FX.
For anyone wondering why Glover made the controversial decision to interview himself in the first place, he asks — and answers — that exact question in the article.
“I guess I don’t love interviews and I asked myself, ‘Why don’t you like interviews?’” Glover said. “I think part of it is that the questions are usually the same. This way I can get questions I usually don’t get asked.
“You don’t think this is contrived?” Glover challenged himself — to which Glover mused, “I don’t think it’s more contrived than any other interview.”
As far as internet criticism goes, “There’s good takes, there’s bad takes, but most of them are just untrustworthy takes,” Glover tells himself. “There’s money and clout in loving and hating you. You have to sift through and try and see if someone is debating in good faith. The internet doesn’t provide a large-enough amount of that.”
Check out Glover’s full interview with himself here and see more reactions to the conversation below.
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