Donald Glover Reveals the Real Reason He Quit Community: 'I Wanted To Be On My Own'

Donald Glover Leaving CommunityDonald Glover is speaking out for the first time about his decision to part ways with Community.

In a series of candid, stream-of-consciousness Instagram messages, the actor-musician he “didn’t leave Community to rap,” adding, “I don’t wanna rap. I wanted to be on my own. I’ve been sick this year. I’ve seen a bunch of people die this year. This is my first time I’ve felt helpless… Kept looking for something to be in with. Follow someone’s blueprint. But you have to be on your own.”

VIDEO | Community Cast Reacts to Donald Glover’s Departure

Glover, who will appear in the first five episodes of the NBC comedy’s upcoming fifth season,  went on to write, “I’m afraid [Community creator] Dan Harmon hates me. I’m scared I won’t know anything ever again. I’m scared I never knew anything. I’m afraid I’ll regret this. I’m afraid this doesn’t matter at all.”

As reported over the summer, Glover has inked a deal to write, produce and star in a half-hour comedy pilot for FX titled Atlanta. He also has an album in the works (presumably under his stage name Childish Gambino), but a release date remains up in the air. “The label doesn’t want me to release in December ’cause it’s not a holiday record,” he explained in one of the posts. “And I’m not a big artist.”

Comments (39)

  • The notes are a pretty depressing, tough read. Not just the parts about his motivations for leaving Community, or his struggles with his album release, but in general what they say about his mental state. The cynic in me says it may be some kind of marketing ploy, but that’s also almost the optimist speaking – since if taken as truth he sounds very depressed and in need of support.

    Comment by Adam – October 15, 2013 10:16 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Exactly. I’m now quite concerned about his mental state. Hopefully there are people around him that care and are involved in his life and helping him through this.

      Comment by Ari – October 15, 2013 10:28 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Yeah that was what struck me as well – that something isn’t quite right mentally with him. I hope he gets whatever help he needs…

      Comment by lisa – October 15, 2013 10:39 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • or it could be he’s just a smart young guy who’s not into being fake. I respect the hell out of this because it’s real. No ego.

        Comment by Eurisko – October 15, 2013 11:59 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • I guess … although I read it as exactly the opposite.

          Comment by Bob Smith 007 – October 21, 2013 12:31 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Sounds like he is having a nervous breakdown. Should probably try and get himself some help since the last thing a person that is emotionally unstable should do is isolate themselves.

      Comment by ajintexas – October 15, 2013 12:25 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Its not a tactic or ploy (In my opinion) or even anything new for him. Listen to most of his songs and he’s dealt with depressed feelings, self-doubt, fear, and uncertainty. Hopefully he’s ok regardless.

      Comment by AJ – October 16, 2013 11:59 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • With or without Donald Glover, Community may never be the same. #sixseasonsandamovie

    Comment by Tran 2.0 – October 15, 2013 10:35 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • We are a sad, sad culture of consumption. Food, things, and people. What can we expect from those who are constantly in the spotlight, every decision dissected, analyzed and judged by strangers. How long would you last? I pray that this man’s cry for help will be heard by people who want to help and support him, rather than those who would seek to consume or exploit his grief and pain. Perhaps if we can show him love, not scorn, he may find the strength to face his demons, his doubts, and his troubles and overcome them. Sending positive thoughts your way, Donald.

    Comment by jk – October 15, 2013 10:37 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • jk, Very well said! Danny’s posts made me very sad and afraid for him. I hope Dan Harmon reaches out to him to help and encourage him. With the recent death of Lee Thompson Young – a man, who, by all accounts, seemed like he has had a charmed life, I am very afraid of what we (the media and the public) do to these young stars.

      Comment by Mel – October 15, 2013 10:53 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Sorry, I meant Donald, not Danny.

        Comment by Mel – October 15, 2013 12:11 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I know what you mean, I was thinking similar things. And that frightened me. I sincerely hope, whatever’s up with Donald, he gets help, and gets all his issues dealt with and sorted out, and that things start to improve for him. I don’t even want to THINK of him going Lee’s route. *Shudders*

        Comment by Angela – October 15, 2013 12:38 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • because one black guy killed himself you imply another will do the same? Some people are just not fake. Some people are just very smart and say what’s on their mind. I think you all need to slow your roll.

        Comment by Eurisko – October 15, 2013 07:05 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • I think no one here — including you, Eurisko — knows whether this man is in a healthy mental state or not. Hopefully, he is. If he isn’t, I think it’s only right that people should worry.

          Comment by Gabriel Garcia – October 15, 2013 11:55 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • Being black has nothing to do with my comment Gabriel. If a young, white male or female celebrity with a seemingly great career recently committed suicide, I would have also made the comparison. Why does everything have to be about race? Why can’t it just be about the human race?

          Comment by Mel – October 16, 2013 05:28 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • I meant Eurisko. Sorry Gabriel, I TTA with you.

            Comment by Mel – October 16, 2013 05:29 AM PDT  
    • Amen! Well spoken.

      Comment by krlly – April 4, 2014 08:03 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Somebody who cares about Glover needs to get him off social media now. He’s obviously going through something and the last thing he needs is to broadcast it to the world even if he wants to.

    Comment by Marceline (@MsMarceline) – October 15, 2013 10:44 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Yikes…

    Comment by james – October 15, 2013 10:49 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • This makes me sad. I hope he’s ok and has a good support system.

    Comment by knd – October 15, 2013 10:51 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I hope people stop heaping scorn on him for leaving Community and instead send positive messages his way. Sounds like he’s having a difficult year emotionally.

    Comment by Brooke – October 15, 2013 10:59 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Yes, exactly. I am sad that Community is losing his brilliance, but I want to know that he’s still in the world being Donald. My wish for him is that he be as happy as he has made me by being around.

      Comment by TV Gord – October 15, 2013 05:57 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I think that his putting these messages out there is a sign that he’s looking for someone to have an answer for him. If it is depression, he could feel “wrong” and not know how to process those feelings or get past them. Isolation really isn’t the way to go, if that’s what he’s doing. Isolation may feel like the best option, but you’re locking yourself away with your worst enemy at that point.

    If he is really going through something deep and dark, I hope that he does manage to get through it and finds a way back. He’s really talented.

    If this is a marketing ploy or a publicity thing… it’s not funny.

    Comment by Drew – October 15, 2013 11:07 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Is he bipolar?

    Comment by Mark – October 15, 2013 11:09 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • He said he was sick this year. Doesn’t necessarily exclude mental illness.

      Comment by Bob – December 6, 2013 07:09 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I sincerely hope he’s getting help. Definitely sounds depressed. Minus the fame part, he sounds a lot like me when I go through my depression cycles.

    Comment by jalahyacinth – October 15, 2013 11:35 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • What am I missing here? This doesn’t sound like a cry for help. People have been asking “what is the meaning of life” since forever. Plenty of books written about this question. It’s not that new or shocking. As soon as a person proves not to be the typical candy-coated, platitude-spewing, shallow person – their sanity is questioned. It’s just silly.

    As far as wanting independence? Have at it. We only get to do this life once… I wish him plenty of success. He certainly has the talent.

    Comment by Teeny Bikini – October 15, 2013 01:14 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • He says he’s been sick this year, has seen a lot of people die, and has felt helpless? That’s not just being philosophical. Maybe he didn’t intend to come across as sounding so bleak, but he doesn’t sound like he’s merely musing.

      Comment by Brooke – October 15, 2013 01:34 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I have no proof of this, but there is an alternative theory. Donald caught a lot of blowback when he walked away from community. And the community fan base is pretty dedicated, if not huge in number. This social media kefluffle could be a calculated attempt to ameliorate the ire of the fan base. He could be faking in order to change the story. Prior to this, the story was that he was selfish and wanted to focus on himself, and scroo the rest of the cast/crew. That played a lot less well than anyone could have anticipated, so maybe he wants to change the script.

      Comment by Patrick – October 16, 2013 06:34 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Sounds like a presuicide note. He needs help.. Hope his friends reach out to him.

    Comment by DarkDefender – October 15, 2013 02:36 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I identify with this dude so much. His honesty is why I like his music so much. He is probably the only truly honest celebrity and he is super talented. One of the very few who can be both serious and comedic with such ease. His show is going to be a huge success.

    Comment by Kenneth Belliveau Journalism – October 15, 2013 03:52 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • It’s an interesting way to vent, for sure. But I can’t say I’m not guilty of venting publicly like that. Because I am. I wish you success in your future, Donald Glover. And I’m sure Dan Harmon doesn’t hate you. And even though you expressed fear that people think you hate women, as a woman, I can say I definitely don’t think that. I doubt anyone else does.

    Comment by Britta Unfiltered – October 16, 2013 12:59 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • It is weird as a viewer to read things like this. To us (and I think I speak for many), Community is light-hearted fun and smart comedy, and we look forward to seeing these people each week, because it feels good to laugh. I can’t help but believe these actors like each other (for the most part) and have fun making this show – they have such good chemistry, especially Troy and Abed. I understand the need for actors to branch out and move on, but this seems more like giving up.

    Comment by R.O.B. – October 16, 2013 06:00 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • On a completely unrelated note to my last post, I have his Childish Gambino album and it is very good (albeit very explicit). He raps alot about all of the sex he has with multiple women. There is an entire song about his preference for asian women. I just wonder, based on his posts, if that lifestyle is starting to feel empty (as we so often read about) and how valuable it might be for Donald Glover to find someone to actually be in a relationship with.

    Comment by R.O.B. – October 16, 2013 06:06 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • OK, I’ll ask the question: Based on his musings, is he going to be the next young actor found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound? His writings come across as being from a very confused and depressed person who wandering aimlessly. Anyway — he’s still a d-bag for leaving Community. Good luck with that, David, er Rob, er Donald.

    Comment by Bob – October 16, 2013 07:32 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • He’s pathetic.

    Comment by et al – October 16, 2013 07:10 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • “I don’t wanna rap. I wanted to be on my own.” Oh by the way, my album is dropping after the holidays and my new show is in production… Sounds less like he needed to be alone and more like he just wanted to do new things now that Community helped make him more well known. It’s pretty common actually that people on a good show get a little overconfident about their own prospects and leave to do their own thing – sometimes it works out well (George Clooney) and sometimes it’s a mistake (Katherine Heigl). But it’s still his choice to make and I wish him the best. I agree with people about him not being on social media – this is not going to help his post-Community career. If people see him as unstable, they won’t want to give him work…

    Comment by Brendan – October 17, 2013 05:12 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • He couldn’t just stick around for the 13 episodes this year, then go off on his own (since Community will most likely be canceled this year)??? Hey, Donald, ever hear of a guy named David Caruso? Sure, CSI: Miami, right? Well, he got all full of himself when he starred on NYPD Blue and left to “do his own thing” in movies. Never heard from again until someone threw him a bone with CSI. Notice that he didn’t leave that show!

    Comment by Bob – December 6, 2013 07:12 AM PDT  Reply To This Post

    Comment by JEFFREY – April 5, 2014 03:31 PM PDT  Reply To This Post

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