In the eighth episode of Atlanta’s fourth season, things take an unusual turn. Instead of the regular cast, it’s all about a mockumentary centered on ‘the blackest movie of all time,’ brought to life by the first black Disney CEO, Thomas Washington.

Who is Thomas Washington?

The story starts with a mix-up of names. The board intended to appoint Tom Washington, a white man, to a high post, but due to a mix-up, Thomas Washington ended up in the role. Thomas took charge and aimed to create a groundbreaking movie that delved into various aspects of African-American culture.

Read More: One Piece Chapter 1091 Release Date Update, Spoilers, Leaks, Read Online, Raw Scans And More

Tragedy struck in 1995 when Thomas mysteriously disappeared, possibly due to disagreements over his film’s ending after Disney’s hierarchy changed it. Despite the uncertainty, Thomas Washington’s brief time in the position left a lasting impact, as noted by his wife.

Thomas Washington is a fictional character devised by Karen Joseph Adcock and Francesca Sloane, the writers behind the Atlanta episode featuring him. He isn’t based on a real person but serves as a creative element within the narrative.

Contrary to the story’s depiction, Disney has never had a black man as its CEO. During the early ’90s, the period portrayed in the show, Michael Eisner held the CEO position at Disney until 2005.

Real Life Inspiration of Thomas Washington

Thomas Washington Disney

The creators likely drew inspiration from Floyd Norman, Disney’s first African-American animator. Norman’s experiences growing up in Santa Barbara, California, shielded him from racism. He recalled having access to quality education, concerts, and theaters.

Norman shared that while opportunities were available for black individuals, some chose not to pursue them due to the perception that these opportunities were limited. He noted that the focus on being a trailblazer wasn’t prevalent among his colleagues.

For Norman, the diversity of the people he worked with mattered more than being the first black animator at Disney. He emphasized that they were all young individuals seeking employment, united by a common goal rather than their racial backgrounds.