There was a commotion on the set of NBC comedy Community yesterday. I hear hot-tempered co-star Chevy Chase had another outburst, this time featuring the N-word. It appears that the tirade was not addressed at black cast members Donald Glover or Yvette Nicole Brown. People close to the situation say that Chase had been increasingly frustrated and uncomfortable with the direction of his character, Pierce, who is a bigot. After getting fed more lines he found offensive during a scene yesterday, I hear he snapped and launched the tirade, airing his frustration and suggesting that the way things with Pierce are going, he may next be asked to call Troy (Glover) or Shirley (Brown) the N-word. I hear the outburst upset the cast. Chase later apologized. The racial content of his tirade does appear out of character for Chase, who once marched in the civil rights movement, but the blowup itself is not. Chase is known for having a short fuse and storming off the set of Community in the middle of a scene if he is not happy with the script. His feud with show’s creator/former showrunner Dan Harmon last year escalated into a profanity-laced message Chase left on Harmon’s voice mail.
Never one to mince words, Chase has been vocal about his displeasure with his gig on Community and hinted multiple times last spring that he may leave, which didn’t happen. In a recent interview with The Huffington Post UK, he said of signing to do the show: “It was a big mistake! I just sort of hung around because I have three daughters and a wife, and I figured out I might as well make some bread, every week, so I can take care of them in the way they want.” There is more. “The hours are hideous, and it’s still a sitcom on television, which is probably the lowest form of television.” The only nice thing Chase said about Community was regarding the cast, which supports the idea that his racial tirade was likely not directed at them. “I think the reason I have stuck around is because I love these kids, the cast — they are very good.”