Rick and Morty creator Dan Harmon apologizes after decade-old "baby rapist" skit resurfaces
The sketch, featuring Rick and Morty creator Dan Harmon as a "child rapist", was shared widely by far-right groups and has gone viral.
After a disturbing nine-year-old "baby rapist" sketch made by Dan Harmon, co-creator of widely known Adult Swim cartoon series 'Rick and Morty,' resurfaced on social media, he apologized for the distasteful video and deleted his Twitter account to avoid the backlash that followed.
Titled 'Daryl', the sketch is a spoof of Showtime's serial-killer drama Dexter, and shows Harmon as a "baby rapist with a heart of gold."
In the said film, Daryl is shown simulating rape on a baby doll after breaking into a family home.
"I know that I'm a monster... I rape babies," he says in the skit deemed "unpleasant" by many.
This weekend, Harmon was on a panel discussion with fellow 'Rick and Morty' creator Justin Roiland and actress Cassie Steele at the San Diego Comic-Con when the notorious piece emerged. Harmon is also the creator of hit comedy series 'Community.'
Immediately after the news broke, the 45-year-old deleted his social media account.
That said, Twitter saw mixed reactions from the public. While some were thoroughly petrified, quite a few users defended the creator's dark sense of humor, which essentially helped blossom many comedy shows.
But an equal number of users said they felt sickened after the video and questioned Harmon's mental health.
According to one Rick and Morty fan, the footage allegedly left her feeling "f***ing sick". Another added: "I just watched the Daryl video by Dan Harmon. Dan Harmon is a f***ing creep."
"F***ing disgusting, this guy got problems," someone else wrote.
Many even suggested that this could mark the end of the creative genius's career.
"Another one bites the dust, Dan Harmon. Looks like your career with Rick & Morty is over," one wrote.
And then there were a some who defended him saying it was just a running joke played in bad taste.
"It was just an edgy, shock jock video that was trying to be so offensive that it became funny," one Twitter user wrote. "Whether or not you found it funny is subjective."
"Very weird that Harmon would delete social media after the Daryl video resurfacing. Isn't this the kinda shit he usually doubles down on," one Twitter user wrote.
After the backlash over the video, Harmon and network Adult Swim came forward with official statements.
“At Adult Swim, we seek out and encourage creative freedom and look to push the envelope in many ways, particularly around comedy," said a spokesperson from Adult Swim in a statement to IGN. "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."
Harmon on the other hand issued a personal apology.
"In 2009, I made a “pilot” which strove to parody the series “Dexter” and only succeeded in offending," he said. "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.”
The controversial footage emerged just days after James Gunn, who directed Guardians of the Galaxy, was ousted over offensive tweets he had posted over a decade ago.
At the time, Gunn wrote: "I like when little boys touch me in my silly place."
In another, he wrote: "The best thing about being raped is when you're done being raped and it's like 'whew this feels great, not being raped!'"
The director tried to defend himself over the tweets by saying he had made a career as a "provocateur" but had "developed as a person" and that his "days saying something just because it’s shocking and trying to get a reaction are over."
"For the record, when I made these shocking jokes, I wasn’t living them out. I know this is a weird statement to make, and seems obvious, but, still, here I am, saying it," he added.
Nonetheless, this is not the first time the director has landed himself in trouble.
Harmon confessed to his 'filthy, creepy behavior' towards Megan Ganz, a writer for Community, via his HarmonTown podcast. Ganz had accused him of sexually harassing her while she was working with him on the show.
After being "humiliated" by her rejection to his advances, Harmon said, "now I wanted to teach her a lesson".
Dan Harmon, the co-creator of “Rick and Morty” and creator of “Community,” deleted his Twitter account today after a disturbing 2009 video resurfaced online https://t.co/73M0lHTW4A pic.twitter.com/tcJ7aMPSoQ— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) July 23, 2018
He said he did "things that I would never ever ever have done if she had been male and if I had never had those feelings for her."
"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."
Harmon finished up by saying: "So I just wanna say, in addition to obviously being sorry — but that's really not the important thing — I wanna say I did it by not thinking about it, and I got away with it by not thinking about it. And if she hadn't mentioned something on Twitter, I would've continued to not have to think about it, although I did walk around with my stomach in knots about it."
However, Ganz said she was able to forgive him later.