During an interview published Tuesday, actor Donald Glover recalled an instance in his early career in which Tina Fey said he was a “diversity” hire for the popular sitcom “30 Rock.”
The 39-year-old actor discussed it during an interview with GQ. “There is no animosity between us or anything like that, but [Tina Fey] said it herself. … It was a diversity thing. The last two people who were fighting for the job were me and Kenya Barris,” Glover recalled of being hired as a writer for “30 Rock.”
Barris is the creator of the hit comedy “Black-ish” and other spinoff projects.
“I didn’t know it was between me and [Barris] until later. He hit me one day and he was like, ‘I hated you for years!’” Glover continued.
Glover said he suffered from imposter syndrome during that period of his early career, indicating that he didn’t feel qualified to have secured the position. “It definitely didn’t feel like I was supposed to be there. I used to have stress dreams every night where I was doing cartwheels on the top of a New York skyscraper with the other writers watching me.”
The actor mentioned believing he was hired because he was black before, during a 2018 profile in The New Yorker.
“I wondered, Am I being hired just because I’m black?” he said, then allegedly Fey told him funds from NBC’s Diversity Initiative essentially “made him free,” so the answer was technically yes.
The comedy series “30 Rock” has faced backlash in the past. In 2020, Fey made a comment on removing episodes that included characters in blackface.
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“As we strive to do the work and do better in regards to race in America, we believe that these episodes featuring actors in race-changing makeup are best taken out of circulation,” Fey wrote in a letter to the platforms that streamed or sold “30 Rock,” as The Daily Wire previously reported.
“I understand now that ‘intent’ is not a free pass for white people to use these images. I apologize for pain they have caused. Going forward, no comedy-loving kid needs to stumble on these tropes and be stung by their ugliness. I thank NBCUniversal for honoring this request.”
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