On the heels of filmmaker James Gunn getting fired from Guardians of the Galaxy 3 over a series of offensive tweets from nearly a decade ago, Rick and Morty co-creator Dan Harmon has come under fire for similarly taboo attempts at humor. Harmon's 2009 video Daryl resurfaced, and the quasi-spoof of Dexter featured jokes about rape and pedophilia. Harmon left Twitter shortly after, while issuing an apology for the video. All eyes were on Adult Swim to see how the studio would handle Harmon's future with Rick and Morty. Below is Adult Swim's official statement:
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.
Adult Swim's statement, via TVLine, did not imply that Dan Harmon would be terminated from Rick and Morty or any other contracts he might have with the company. To be sure, it did not state that zero action would be taken in other ways, but Harmon and his fans can take comfort in knowing Adult Swim accepted the apology without any damaging decisions. The company did deem the video to be offensive, and made it clear such content is not welcome on their late-night schedule blocks.
In Daryl, which Dan Harmon produced, he plays a man attempting to stop serial killers, similar to Dexter Morgan. But instead of killing them in the present, Daryl would go back in time and sexually abuse the killers when they were children. Simulated rape on a baby doll was also shown within the video.
After the video made its way back to online eyeballs on Monday, Dan Harmon noticeably quit Twitter. He later issued the below apology.
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. Nobody should ever have to see what you saw and for that, I sincerely apologize.
Dan Harmon is just the latest entertainment personality to land in the crosshairs for offensive content from years past. Beyond James Gunn, we've also seen MSNBC's Sam Seder getting fired and subsequently rehired after a satirical 2009 tweet about Roman Polanski was brought out anew. And then there's Roseanne Barr, who was quickly fired from her ABC sitcom revival after tweeting out controversial remarks about former aide to President Obama, Valerie Jarrett.