Rick and Morty co-creator Dan Harmon left Twitter over the weekend after a sketch resurfaced online, showing the comedian rubbing himself on a baby doll in a satirical take on Showtime's Dexter. Finally on Monday night, Harmon addressed the short called "Daryl" that he created for experimental comedy fest, Channel 101, nearly ten years ago.
"In 2009, I made a 'pilot' which strove to parody the series Dexter and only succeeded in offending," Harmon said in an apology released to CNET. "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."
Many Twitter users braced themselves for Adult Swim to cancel Rick and Morty’s recent 70-episode renewal in the wake of the controversy, following Disney's swift firing of Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn over similar unearthed tweets. However, in a statement to Polygon, the network seemed to back the Rick and Morty creator, accepting his apology.
"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,” the statement reads. “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."
According to the Guardian, the video first surfaced on 4chan, then spread the alt-right Reddit forum r/the_Donald, then made its way onto Breitbart, the Daily Caller, and right-wing Twitter. Many of the comments label the video as proof that Harmon is a secret Hollywood pedophile, connecting it to the same conspiracy theory that led to the Pizzagate shooting. Others compared it to Roseanne Barr's recent racist Twitter outburst, which led to the cancelation of the Trump fan's ABC show. Notably, Pizzagate conspiracy theorist Mike Cernovich, who resurfaced the tweets that got Gunn fired, helped to spread the story.
The apologies are out, but the dust hasn’t settled yet. Now Twitter trolls are spamming Rick and Morty co-creator Justin Roiland’s Twitter account with comments on a drawing he posted of Barron Trump wearing VR goggles without pants. And with Cernovich tweeting about having a "database of over 100 verified Hollywood liberals" making similar tasteless jokes, it looks as if there will only be more controversies to come.
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