Rick and Morty creator Dan Harmon deletes his Twitter after 'distasteful' video resurfaces

'Nobody should ever have to see what you saw and for that, I sincerely apologise'

Jack Shepherd
Tuesday 24 July 2018 08:41 BST
Dan Harmon has a history of workplace misconduct
Dan Harmon has a history of workplace misconduct (Getty)

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Louise Thomas

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Dan Harmon, the creator of Community and co-creator of Rick and Morty, has apologised after a “distasteful” joke dating back to 2009 went viral on social media. The showrunner has since deleted his Twitter account.

The offending scripted sketch, a spoof of the TV show Dexter, sees Harmon play a therapist who repeatedly molests babies. Users of the 4Chan message board and Donald Trump-dedicated Reddit page The_Donald were the ones who initially shared the video, which was later picked up by alt-right website Brietbart.

Harmon – a vocal critic of Trump – has since apologised: “In 2009, I made a ‘pilot’ which strove to parody the series Dexter and only succeeded in offending. I quickly realised 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 apologise.”

Titled Daryl, the sketch was originally made as part of the Harmon-ran LA short film festival Chanel 101, an independently ran event that prides itself in giving filmmakers complete creative freedom. Taboo and offensive subjects are often tackled by the showcased films.

The five-minute episode begins with Harmon’s character counselling a father and prescribing sleeping pills. Later on, once the father has fallen asleep, Harmon’s therapist climbs through the window of the man’s house and mimics raping his child – represented by a plastic doll. The character caresses the doll again later on in the sketch.

Daryl was initially removed from the Chanel 101 website back in 2012.

Adult Swim, the American network who produce Rick and Morty, have issued a statement on the situation: “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.”

There have been two other recent cases of comedian’s old jokes coming back to haunt their creators. The first saw James Gunn apologise for Tweets about paedophilia that were posted between 2009 and 2011. The famed director has since been fired from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 by Disney over the controversy.

The second incident has seen The Daily Show host Trevor Noah apologise over an “offensive” joke concerning Aboriginal women, with many Australians calling for a boycott of the comic’s upcoming tour dates. Noah has since responded saying: “I vowed never to make a joke like that again. And I haven’t.”

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