The Real Reason Donald Glover Left Community During Season 5

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  • Published on:  Tuesday, January 21, 2020
  • 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.

    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. Keep watching the video to see the real reason Donald Glover left Community during season 5!

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