“Rick and Morty” and “Community” creator Dan Harmon left Twitter as an old sketch emerged in which he plays a therapist who sexually assaults babies.
Some conservatives, most notably right-wing provocateur Mike Cernovich, fueled online outrage over the 2009 sketch “Daryl,” a parody of Showtime’s “Dexter.” The video resurfaced recently as part of a coordinated online campaign against left-leaning figures on Twitter. Last week, James Gunn lost his job directing the next “Guardians of the Galaxy” film after Cernovich and others flagged his old Twitter jokes about pedophilia and rape.
The conservatives pointing out the old jokes say that liberals should be held to the same standards as conservatives who are ousted over offensive remarks. But critics of the effort say there’s a difference between old jokes that were deliberately designed to offend and public statements made in apparent seriousness.
Harmon’s publicist and agent did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment on whether his departure from Twitter is tied to “Daryl” resurfacing. Harmon’s production company, Starburns Industries, directed inquiries to Harmon’s publicist.
In the skit, created in the same year Harmon’s show “Community” debuted on NBC, Harmon makes the deadpan, joking assertion that he has shot a pilot for Showtime. He then presents footage in which his character Daryl (who speaks in a “Dexter”-style voiceover) prescribes sleeping pills to a patient so that Daryl can sneak into the man’s home and rape his newborn baby, which is played by a doll. Later, Harmon’s character sexually assaults another baby (doll).
“Hi, I’m Dan Harmon,” he says in the introduction. “You’re about to watch my controversial new pilot, ‘Daryl.’ Now, I have to warn you, I originally made it for Showtime, for their audience because it’s a little groundbreaking for normal people to handle. But, maybe you’ll surprise me. Good luck.”
Showtime did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The “Daryl” sketch was originally posted on Channel 101, Harmon’s monthly short-film competition for sketch comedy.
Channel 101 is designed to parody the way studios make TV: Participants shoot five-minute “pilots” that the audience votes on. The Top 5 shows are “renewed” for another episode the following month. One example of success from the festival is “Yacht Rock.”
Below is a small sample of the conversation happening on social media right now. As readers might expect, there is strong language being used on both sides of the argument.
So people are trying to make Dan Harmon the next person to go down…you guys do realize that #RickandMorty also started out with a Channel 101 short where Doc asks Mharti to lick his balls, yes? Adult Swim knew this when the show was ordered. Nothing should happen
— Scott S, Thanos Averter (@DigiRanger1994) July 23, 2018
In my honest opinion Dan Harmon shouldn’t be fired or let go or anything… he didn’t actually rape anybody LOL
— ً (@MaliksIntellect) July 23, 2018
Oh jeez why is Dan Harmon trending? *checks* *sighs* *rubs face with hands* if men could like maybe stop making r*pe jokes that would be super double A plus plus good there are like a MILLION other topics out there
— Hägen Dïrge Is Comin' to a TF Nation Near You (@tainkirrahe) July 23, 2018
If you're trying to normalize what Dan Harmon did and try to write it off as "comedy" you're a fucking sick ass individual.
— Ed (@_SayItAintMesk) July 23, 2018
Harmon’s “Harmontown” is set to tape a live podcast tonight at Dynasty Typewriter at The Hayworth in Los Angeles.