Donald Glover's Departure From 'Community,' Explained

If you're wondering why Troy Barnes ceased to exist as a main character on 'Community', here's the reason why Donald Glover left the beloved series.

Lizzy Rosenberg - Author

May 8 2020, Updated 4:01 p.m. ET

donald glover community
Source: Getty

Whether you watched Community religiously before it ended in 2015, or if you're just starting to binge it now, you've probably come to appreciate Donald Glover as an actor, outside of his fire music. In the sitcom, he played the role of the naive yet lovable Troy Barnes. But Donald Glover's departure from the series was completely unexpected, and the story behind why he left is undeniably strange.

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While we're absolutely thrilled that Mr. Gambino is reportedly returning for the upcoming virtual reunion, we're deep-diving into what inspired Donald Glover to leave Community back in 2014 — the story is pretty strange.

why did donald leave community
Source: Getty
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Why did Donald Glover leave 'Community'?

Between Seasons 4 and 5 back in 2013, it was announced that Donald would be leaving part-way through the fifth season, according to Looper, and fans were crushed. Why would he leave behind the series, which had garnered such a hardcore cult following? 

Part of the reason Donald left was because the series was reportedly crumbling behind-the-scenes. NBC dropped Community for Donald's other baby, 30 Rock, and it was forced into a long-term hiatus. The series creator, Dan Harmon, was also fired for being difficult, and Chevy Chase, who played the role of Pierce Hawthorne, was known for being aggressive on set and left before Season 5.

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Additionally, Donald was ready to try something new — in 2013, his FX comedy, Atlanta, had been approved, and he wanted to continue working on his music. But leaving wasn't easy, and it seemed to take a major toll on Donald.

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At the time, he posted a series of cryptic messages to social media.

Leaving Community wasn't easy for Donald back in 2013, and to grapple with the thought of departing, he posted a series of haunting letters to his social media, according to Hypable. Although the photos have since been archived, they have been re-posted by several sites.

"I kept looking for something to be in with. Follow someone's blueprint. But you have to be on your own," one read.

"I’m afraid of the future. I’m afraid my parents won’t live long enough to see my kids. I’m afraid my show will fail. I’m scared my girl will get pregnant at not the exact time we want. I’m scared I’ll never reach my potential. I’m afraid she’s still in love with that dude," another said.

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Another note read: "I feel like I’m letting everyone down. I’m afraid people hate who I really am. I’m afraid I hate who I really am. I’m scared people will find out what I masturbate to. I’m afraid I’m here for nothing. I feel that this will feel pretentious.” 

Clearly, he was going through something at the time, but it seems like the 36-year-old did what was best for him.

troy barnes
Source: Getty

According to Pitchfork, Donald Glover will be joining the rest of the Community cast in a reunion where they'll be doing a table-read, and needless to say, we're seriously excited. We're definitely hoping for another iteration of Troy and Abed in the Morning.

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