Did a few punch lines about Taylor Swift bring Donald Glovers animated Deadpool series to a screeching halt? According to Stephen Glover, Donalds brother and creative partner, the answer is yes. On Wednesday, Donald released a mock Deadpool script about why he and his brother, who would have been his co-show-runner, parted ways with Marvel over the series. One of the reasons, Donald wrote, was a Swift-themed episode that might have pushed the envelope too far. On Thursday, Stephen confirmed that there actually was a Deadpool episode about the Reputation singer, which he believes may have sealed the shows fate.
“There really was a Taylor Swift episode,” Stephen wrote in a since-deleted tweet, as reported by the Wrap. “It was HILARIOUS. And it definitely was the last straw lol.”
What was the episode about? Was there a single punch line that could have pushed exhausted Marvel execs over the edge, prompting them to decide that this show must be stopped? (The initial statement about the Glover brothers departure from the series made the decision sound like a mutual agreement—but Donalds script seemed to argue that he and Stephen were pushed out.)
True Donald Glover fans know that the Emmy winner isnt afraid to hit celebrities with sharp social commentary—just take the Justin Bieber-inspired episode of Atlanta, for example. Whatever the Swift stuff was, it could have been just risqué enough for Marvel to err on the side of caution. Or maybe everyone with cancellation power is just a huge Swiftie. The world may never know.
Alas, Stephen didnt elaborate on the content of the Forbidden Episode. But he did send a second tweet about the shows demise, which addressed another concern from Donalds mock script: “Our show wasnt too black. It wasnt really that black at all. But we definitely wanted to give Rick and Morty a run for their money and I think we would have. Proud of the gang.”
In the script, Donald used the voice of Deadpool to muse about whether he and his brother were pushed out by Marvel because of racism. “All the writers were black,” Deadpool says. “And the references were pretty black too. I heard they went over the lunch budget ordering Jamaican food at least once a week . . . maybe we were alienating our white audience?”
Whatever the reason, Marvel and FX have kept mum, sticking with their original joint statement about the Brothers Glovers departure: “Due to creative differences, FX, Donald Glover, Stephen Glover, and Marvel Television have agreed to part ways on Marvels Deadpool animated series. FX will no longer be involved with the project.”
In the meantime, theres still Atlanta—which could always do a Taylor Swift-themed episode of its own.
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Yohana DestaYohana Desta is a Hollywood writer for VanityFair.com.