James Gunn was felled by conservatives who didn’t really have a problem with his old offensive tweets, but did have a problem with a his newer tweets against Donald Trump and the Trump administration. Disney, acting irrationally and bowing to some of the worst people on the Internet, fired Gunn over those old tweets. Now, as those conservatives move through comedians like Michael Ian Black, Patton Oswalt, and others so they can replicate their success with Gunn, it looks like some creators are trying to diffuse their old words before they can explode.
Deadline reports that Rick and Morty co-creator Dan Harmon has apologized for a 2009 short video he made called Daryl. In the spoof, he appears to sexually assault a baby doll.
“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, recognizing that Harmon had given them an out to diffuse the situation while maintaining a relationship with the co-creator of arguably their most successful show, responded:
“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.”
While it’s good that Harmon apologized and gets to keep his job, you can see the chilling effect in play where creators must now run to bury or defend everything they’ve ever done, not because conservatives actually have a problem with it, but because it can be used as ammunition in a never-ending culture war where everybody loses.