It’s no secret that Chevy Chase was not exactly universally beloved by his cast mates on NBC sitcom “Community”, but a new profile of Donald Glover in the latest issue of The New Yorker features a shocking anecdote alleging the former “SNL” star made some blatantly racist comments to Glover on the set.
“Community” proved to be a launching pad for Glover as part of the ensemble cast of a network sitcom, but the show’s creator, Dan Harmon, tells the magazine that Chase became “jealous” of Glover’s obvious talent, and responded by attempting to throw the younger actor off his game between scenes — once even telling Glover, “People think you’re funnier because you’re black.”
“By the end of season two, I literally was writing scenes that ended ‘and then Donald says something to button the scene.’ I’m a pretty narcissistic guy, so for me to do that I had to know that, one, he was more talented than I was and, two, he was a better person than I was, that he wouldn’t misuse his power over me,” Harmon explained, noting that this became irksome to Chase.
“Chevy was the first to realize how immensely gifted Donald was, and the way he expressed his jealousy was to try to throw Donald off. I remember apologizing to Donald after a particularly rough night of Chevy’s non-P.C. verbiage, and Donald said, ‘I don’t even worry about it.’”
Commenting on Harmon’s words, Glover tells the mag: “I just saw Chevy as fighting time — a true artist has to be OK with his reign being over. I can’t help him if he’s thrashing in the water. But I know there’s a human in there somewhere — he’s almost too human.”
Contacted by The New Yorker, Chase didn’t deny Harmon’s account, only saying, “I am saddened to hear that Donald perceived me in that light.”
Chase’s battles with “Community” were many before he exited the show in the midst of the fourth season. Back in 2012, Chase’s comments about the show made headlines when he griped that he didn’t find “Community” to be funny, calling his decision to join the show “a mistake.” Most infamously, he reportedly used the N-word while complaining about his bigoted character, Pierce Hawthorne, which led production to be briefly shut down.