Dan Harmon, producer of cult cartoon Rick And Morty, has been called out for being a total asshole, and his response has been hailed as a lesson in how to make a genuine apology.
The story goes like this. Harmon, best known for co-creating the successful animated series Rick And Morty, tweeted that one of his new year’s resolutions for 2018 was not to become less of “an asshole”.
Comedy writer Megan Ganz responded by asking him for something “more specific”. After a brief exchange of tweets in which the TV producer accepted being “an awful boss and selfish baby” in the past, he took to his own podcast Harmontown a few days later to issue a seven-minute apology, in which he flushes out the whole story.
Harmond recalls the time when the two worked on the TV series Community back in 2009, where he was the show-runner and Megan one of the writers. He confessed he treated her unfairly because she didn’t reciprocate his advances.
“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. I said horrible things, just treated her cruelly, pointedly. Things I would’ve never ever done if she had been male or if I didn’t have those feelings for her. I lost my job. I ruined my show. I betrayed the audience. I destroyed everything, and I damaged her internal compass,” he said on his show.
The writer accepted his apology on Twitter, calling it “a masterclass in how to apologize”, and praised Harmon’s mea culpa for “not rationalizing or justifying or making excuses. He doesn’t just vaguely acknowledge some general wrongdoing in the past. He gives a full account.”
Ganz left Community in 2014 before its cancellation in 2014, and since then she has been part of the writing staff of Modern Family and It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia.
You can listen to the complete apology here. It starts at 18:30.