Rick and Morty has always been a controversial show that’s pushed the boundaries of contemporary TV content, but today the popular show is under intense scrutiny. Although show creator Dan Harmon recently provided some updates about the much-anticipated fifth season, people online are outraged about a sketch he created over a decade ago.
On Aug. 13, numerous people on social media began to call for the cancellation of the show after an old sketch from 2009 resurfaced. The sketch is a parody of the show Dexter, in which Harmon simulates the rape of a doll. According to Deadline, Harmon had already apologized about the bit in 2018 when it was initially discovered.
However, people are just as mad today about the clip as they were two years ago when it first surfaced. They’re calling for the show to be canceled.
Fans discovered the controversial video clip in 2018
Despite the fact that the video is currently making its rounds on social media, the clip was actually originally created in 2009. It came from the pilot episode of Daryl, a show intended to spoof the hit Showtime series Dexter which revolved around a serial killer that only hunted other murderers.
According to Uproxx, the video was made for a monthly comedy sketch festival called Channel 101. When the video initially surfaced in 2018, Harmon was promoting Rick and Morty at San Diego ComicCon and immediately deleted his Twitter account.
Dan Harmon apologized for the video in 2018
As news of the video spread in 2018, Harmon was quick to issue an 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,” Harmon said. “Nobody should ever have to see what you saw and for that, I sincerely apologize.”
Adult Swim, the network that Harmon’s wildly popular Rick and Morty series is aired on, also issued a statement in the aftermath of the video’s release:
“At Adult Swim, we seek out and encourage creative freedom and look to push the envelope in many ways, particularly around comedy,” an Adult Swim spokesperson said.
“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 video is still making waves today
Despite having apologized for the video in 2018, Harmon is still receiving backlash for the clip. Several social media accounts devoted to child trafficking and sexual abuse awareness are calling for the cancellation of Rick and Morty as a response to the inappropriate content.
Whether or not there will be additional consequences levied against Harmon for the video remains to be seen, but one thing is for sure: there is no place where that type of content is acceptable today.