Donald Glover faced some backlash over giving Dominque Fishback offensive direction in her character portrayal of the main character Andrea Greene in Swarm.
“I kept telling her, ‘You’re not regular people. You don’t have to find the humanity in your character. That’s the audience’s job’,” the director told Vulture.
The Amazon Prime limited series focuses on fandom in the eyes of Andrea (Dre). The woman has an obsession with a pop star (that is supposed to resemble Beyoncé) whose fandom leads her to commit violent acts.
“She really was lost a lot of the time,” he said. “Think of it more like an animal and less like a person … Actors in general, they want to get layered performances. And I don’t think Dre is that layered.”
He added: “I wanted her performance to be brutal. It’s a raw thing. It reminds me of how I have a fear with dogs because I’m like, ‘You’re not looking at me in the eye, I don’t know what you’re capable of.'”
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Many internet users were upset with Glover’s “animal” comment and took to Twitter to vocalize their frustrations with him.
“To say that a Black female character, especially one who is a serial killer navigating through trauma on trauma and obsessive behavior, ISN’T LAYERED and IS MORE OF AN ANIMAL, continues to prove how this man regards Black women on screen,” screenwriter Kellee Terrell wrote.
Another added, “Watching the trailer already gave me a weird feeling that made me hesitant and then when i realised DG was one of the creators it made sense….and then reading this….pheeeew that man is absolute dogs— and the more he gets praised the more unapologetic he will be….qashin.”
“Every time someone says Glover doesn’t hate Black women he gives an interview and well…,” Mikki Kendall author of A Hood Feminism wrote.
Swarm premiered on Amazon Prime Video on March 17.
Take a look at the trailer below: