If NBC’s inexplicably popular sitcom Community is renewed for a fifth season, we won’t be seeing any of Chevy Chase’s character Pierce Hawthorne. After a series of horrendous behind-the-scenes outbursts and more than a year of very public complaints from Chase, he and the production company behind the show have mutually agreed that the best thing is for him to leave.
It sounds like Chase was one of those old-time Hollywood celebrities who started to get the sense that he was better than everyone else, and it drove him to the point of maddening frustration. He had a public feud with show creator Dan Harmon last year, which is potentially what caused Harmon to part ways at the end of the season.
Because of that, many expected Chase to leave as well but he showed up for work as season 4 began. And in fact he got through almost the entire season. All but one or two episodes have already been filmed. However, the discomfort from Chase started getting too palpable.
Last month, he reportedly used the N-word in a hate-filled outburst on the set. The main point of contention was regarding his character’s increasing offensiveness. In the show, Chase plays a bigot and off-camera he started getting very upset about were the show writers and directors were headed.
In previous interviews, Chase was quoted as saying that he only agreed to do the show to have a steady stream of income as opposed to spotty royalty payments (which most of us would be more than happy to have). Because of the abrupt end, it will be a challenge to write off his character at the end of the season, but for most viewers, there won’t be any effect until months from now, after his pre-recorded episodes air.