Dan Harmon, the co-creator of Rick and Morty, is speaking out against Internet trolls who have been harassing the show’s female writers this season.
For Season 3 of Rick and Morty, a few new female writers were hired, including Jane Becker and Jessica Gao. Some viewers have been unhappy with the new episodes, and so they’ve targeted these writers, accusing them of ruining the series and publishing their personal information online.
In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, Dan Harmon said that he finds this to be absolutely disgusting.
“These knobs, that want to protect the content they think they own – and somehow combine that with their need to be proud of something they have, which is often only their race or gender,” he said. “…I’ve made no bones about the fact that I loathe these people. It f*cking sucks. And the only thing I can say is if you’re lucky enough to make a show that is really good that people like, that means some bad people are going to like it too. You can’t just insist that everybody who watches your show get their head on straight.”
Harmon also said that these online trolls “represent some sh*t that I probably believed when I was 15” and that they’re part of a “testosterone-based subculture patting themselves on the back for trolling these women.” He added that the online hatred isn’t even logical because it’s not as if the women in question wrote the episodes alone. The way a show like Rick and Morty works is that the entire staff works through the episode together, pitching story ideas and jokes, and then a specific writer takes all of that and assembles it into a script. It’s not as if that writer sat in a room and came up with the entire episode themselves.
“It’s total ignorance of how writing a television show works,” Harmon said. “It’s frustrating enough having run Community for several years to see threads like, ‘Oh well, it makes sense this episode was written by Andy Bobrow because when Hilary Winston wrote her episode she tends to linger more on dialogue and Andy is better at the I-want-to-hold-you moments.’ And I want to scream at my computer: ‘You idiots, we all write the show together!’”
During the course of this interview, Dan Harmon mentioned the fact that he read a Reddit comment outlining some of the issues with female writers being harassed during Season 3. That Reddit comment was posted back in August, after two episodes written by Jane Becker and Jessica Gao had aired. The comment was written by elastical_gomez, a /r/RickAndMorty moderator who said that they worked on the show in Season 1.
“Some people have been threatening and harassing the female writers of R&M all because they didn’t particularly care for the past few episodes,” elastical_gomez wrote. “It goes without saying that regardless of what you think about the show, that sort of behavior is sh*tty and inciting more harassment of these people is not allowed on the subreddit.”
Dan Harmon has been known to engage with fans of his shows, oftentimes incorporating elements of the fan community into the series itself, as when Community parodied those who wanted to see Jeff and Annie together and referenced an actual YouTube video made by a viewer. Some of that engagement happens on Twitter, but Harmon recently decided to take a break from the platform.
“It’s feeling like a genuine addiction level deal with me that is having actual negative effects on my real life demeanor/relationships,” Harmon wrote.
Rick and Morty is about to finish its third season. The penultimate episode, “The ABC’s of Beth,” will air on September 24, while the finale, “The Rickchurian Mortydate,” will air on October 1.