Even by the high standards of “Atlanta” when it comes to skewering American pop culture, what writers Francesca Sloane and Karen Joseph Adcock and director Donald Glover accomplished on “The Goof Who Sat By the Door” was something else. With only two installments left to go on the entire show, Season 4, Episode 8 ditched the whole main cast to present a B.A.N. mockumentary on — of all things — the “true” story behind the making of “A Goofy Movie,” which is presented as the passion project of one Thomas “Tom” Washington (Eric Berryman), a Black animator accidentally voted into the position of Disney’s new CEO in the early ’90s. The faux-documentary shows how the original plot of “A Goofy Movie” was inspired by Washington’s relationship with his son Maxwell (Maurice P. Kerry), only for the film’s specifically Black cultural elements to be increasingly watered down by executive interference, leading Washington to personal and professional ruin.
Fans on Twitter were taken aback by the episode’s inventively presented reflection on the clashes between Black art and the corporate world. A user with the handle @R3b3lRevolution tweeted, “A whole episode about ‘The Goofy Movie’. ATLANTA great job! Whoever made this fake doc. GENIUS,” while @UgothisIrvin wrote, “#atlantafx is simply of the best things on tv right now. I can’t even [put] in words the level of craftsmanship shown in this nights episode. Unbelievable. You got to see it to believe it.”