The premiere of Atlanta‘s third season opened with a scary true-crime twist with the notable case of a young Black boy that was adopted.
The first of the two-episode opener, “Three Slaps,” featured a white lesbian couple based on the Harts, the real-life white lesbian couple who adopted Black children only to abuse them and drive their family off of a cliff. You might recall one of the Harts’ children, Devonte, who became a viral sensation after he was photographed crying while hugging a police officer at a Black Lives Matter protest.
The family's horrifying story has since become the subject of a documentary, 'Broken Harts.'
The main character featured in the Atlanta episode, a boy named Loquareeous (Christopher Ferrar) is dressed nearly exactly like Devonte, down to the fedora and polyester quilted jacket. The episode also intersperses the legend of Atlanta’s Lake Lanier, which is allegedly haunted, and rightly so, since the lake is the assumed spot of a Black community that was destroyed for the sake of creating the manmade lake.
Earlier this year, writers Stephen Glover and Stefani Robinson talked about what the episode means for the overall season at the Winter 2022 TCA Virtual Press Tour panel which S&A attended.
Robinson said, “I think the entire season, from my perspective, is just about the idea of curses and what that means and the burden of that and the haunting of that and the…trickle-down effect of some really dark things and the generational…spookiness…is just so prevalent in American culture and society…It sort of like, checks off, I think, so many boxes that are sort of representative of the American experience these days.”
“I would say…Season 3 is about curses and the curse of whiteness,” added Glover. “There was [a white man] on CNN [who] had that speech where he talks about white people freeing themselves from the curse of racism, and we talked about that in the writers’ room a lot. And I think you’ll see that in a lot of the episodes, this idea.”
He referenced how many people believe that racism doesn't exist outside of America, but, as the second episode of the season shows with the Zwarte Piet-themed blackface in Europe, racism exists everywhere.
“…I think, you know, when you are from the South and you are American especially, you can see things differently,” he continued. “And I think white people have blind spots, obviously, to race and things that are going on, and they are affected by this too. It’s not just Black people who are going through it and having a hard time. It’s like, you are actually affected by it, too. So, I think the first episode does a perfect job of, like, showing how both sides are affected by this.”
Atlanta airs Thursdays on FX.
Trey Mangum also contributed to this report