Dan Harmon, 45, the co-creator and executive producer of Adult Swim’s current series Rick and Morty, has admitted to behaving inappropriately toward a woman on an earlier tv series that he created and produced. In his own words, he treated her “like garbage.”
On a podcast earlier this week, Harmon spoke in disturbing detail of how he harassed and attempted to derail the career of one of the writers on his former NBC series, Community.
Megan Ganz, 33, the writer that Harmon had harassed and now a producer and writer on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,, confronted Harmon on Twitter after he tweeted this on the last day of 2017:
This was truly the Year of the Asshole. Myself included. We don’t have to make 2018 the Year of the Mensch but I hope it can be the Year of the Not as Much of an Asshole. #RealisticGoals
I wish my memories were foggier. I wish there was a way to fix it. It took me years to believe in my talents again, to trust a boss when he complimented me and not cringe when he asked for my number. I was afraid to be enthusiastic, knowing it might be turned against me later.
As a follow-up to that request, on January 10, Harmon spoke on his podcast Harmontown and detailed his actions (beginning around the 18:40 mark). In this excerpt, he explains what he did:
I broke up with my girlfriend, then I went right full-steam into creeping on my employee… And then after that season, I got overt about my feelings after it was wrapped and said “I love you,” and she said the same thing she’d been saying the entire time, in one language or another: “Please, don’t you understand that focusing on me like this, liking me like this, preferring me like this, I can’t say no to it, and when you do it, it makes me unable to know whether I’m good at my job?”
And because I finally got to the point where I said to her, “Oh, I love you” — because that’s what I thought it was when you target somebody for two years — and it was therefore rejected that way, I was humiliated… Now I wanted to teach her a lesson. I wanted to show her that if she didn’t like being liked in that way, then oh boy, she should get over herself. After all, if you’re just gonna be a writer, this is how “just writers” get treated…I drank, I took pills, I crushed on her and resented her for not reciprocating it.
And the entire time, I was the one writing her paychecks and in control of whether she stayed or went and whether she felt good about herself or not, and said horrible things, just treated her cruelly, pointedly. Things that I would never ever ever have done if she had been male and if I had never had those feelings for her. And I lied to myself the entire time about it, and I lost my job, I ruined my show, I betrayed the audience, I destroyed everything, and I damaged her internal compass. And I moved on. And I never did it before, and I will never do it again, but I certainly wouldn’t have been able to do it if I had any respect for women on a fundamental level. I was thinking about them as different creatures, I was thinking about the ones that I liked as having some special role in my life, and I did it all by not thinking about it.
The entire confession can be watched below in video format:
Ganz, the writer who had been targeted for Harmon’s harassment, subsequently acknowledged on Twitter that she accepted his apology.
Harmon’s current series Rick and Morty was created for Adult Swim, a network whose boss, Mike Lazzo, has gone on the record saying that he doesn’t respect women’s creative skills and whose show creators and writers are over 95% male.