Adult Swim is standing by its “Rick and Morty” co-creator Dan Harmon after a disturbing video of him resurfaced over the weekend, thanks to right-wingers.
The video features a clip from a 2009 Harmon pilot called “Daryl,” which was intended as a spoof of Showtime’s serial-killer drama “Dexter,” according to Entertainment Weekly.
In the skit, Harmon simulates raping a baby doll.
After the video resurfaced, Harmon, who also wrote and created NBC’s “Community,” deleted his Twitter account and issued an apology on Monday, according to Entertainment Weekly:
“In 2009, I made a ‘pilot’ which strove to parody the series Dexter and only succeeded in offending. I quickly realized the content was way too distasteful and took the video down immediately,” Harmon said. “Nobody should ever have to see what you saw and for that, I sincerely apologize.”
In response to the video, Adult Swim issued a statement to numerous news outlets as well. In it, the network distances itself from the offensive joke but forgives Harmon. It doesn’t appear that he will be reprimanded for the video.
“At Adult Swim, we seek out and encourage creative freedom and look to push the envelope in many ways, particularly around comedy. The offensive content of Dan’s 2009 video that recently surfaced demonstrates poor judgement and does not reflect the type of content we seek out. Dan recognized his mistake at the time and has apologized. He understands there is no place for this type of content here at Adult Swim.”
The Guardian reports that users on 4Chan and the far-right subreddit The_Donald brought attention to the video over the weekend. According to the paper, one user on 4Chan said posting the video was justified as retribution for the cancellation of Roseanne Barr’s show on ABC for a racist tweet.
“If they get to take scalps for someone making racist jokes, we get to take scalps for them making pedophilia jokes,” the user wrote.
The provocateurs didn’t exactly get the result they wanted, however. In May, Adult Swim renewed Harmon’s hit animated series “Rick and Morty” for a staggering 70 more episodes, which may be why the network was relatively gentle with its response.
Director James Gunn, however, wasn’t as lucky.
On Friday, Disney fired the “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” director after Pizzagate conspiracy theorists Mike Cernovich and Jack Posobiec called attention to crude tweets about pedophilia and rape that Gunn posted from 2008 to 2011.
Many believe Cernovich and Posobiec focused on the tweets because Gunn is an outspoken critic of President Donald Trump. Several other comedians who have been vocal in their disapproval of Trump and other conservatives have received similar treatment, including comedian Michael Ian Black, who called out “right wing Twitter” on Saturday.
Yet, unlike Trump, Harmon has proved that he can at least acknowledge his wrongdoings.
This year, Harmon admitted he treated a former female employee, writer Megan Ganz, “like garbage” and abused his power while the two were working together on “Community.” Harmon later apologized to Ganz, and she accepted.