‘This Is America’ Was Filmed Even More Recently Than You Think

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“This Is America.” Photo: Youtube/Donald Glover

At least one fan theory about Childish Gambino’s “This Is America” is correct. Since the release of Donald Glover’s latest video, the internet has speculated that it likely hadn’t been in the works for very long, given lyrical references to the death of Stephon Clark, who was murdered by police in March for carrying a cell phone that was mistaken for a gun. Turns out, the video was filmed even more recently than assumed: Director Hiro Murai, fresh off a new deal with FX, tells the New York Times that it was shot just “a week and a half to two weeks ago,” while he was still putting the finishing touches on Atlanta’s second season. “It came together really fast, right on the heels of editing Atlanta,” he says. “It certainly added to the chaos, but it was a fun kind of chaos.” While Donald Glover says he won’t comment on the video’s meaning, Mirai explains that it’s symptomatic of our global state of demoralization: “There’s sort of a world-weariness in both this season and the music video. They’re both reactions to what’s happening in the world.”

‘This Is America’ Filmed Even More Recently Than You Think