Of all people, you’d think Rick and Morty fans would know not to piss off Dan Harmon.
As the co-writer behind many of Rick Sanchez’s most cutting burns, he’s not the type to hold back while wiping the floor with dumbasses. But as it turns out, internet trolls continue to prove themselves a special breed of imbecile.
And Harmon’s not having any of it.
Back in August, after the release of the show’s “Pickle Rick” episode, certain types of fans (read: bridge trolls) decided to blame their dissatisfaction on the new women credited with its writing. They handled these contrarian opinions like adults, critiquing the episode’s merits and pitfalls with salient arguments on the nature of good television writing.
LOL JK!! They actually just sent the usual rape and death threats to said female writers “ruining the show” for them, as absolute garbage, petty-ass insecure boys on the internet are wont to do.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Harmon addressed the ongoing harassment campaign. And, boy, can you imagine if the co-creator of your favorite show called you “disgusting,” and “knobs,” and “idiots.”
Well, these trolls don’t have to imagine.
“I’ve made no bones about the fact that I loathe these people. It f—ing sucks,” Harmon said. “It’s offensive to me as someone who was born male and white, and still works way harder than them, that there’s some white male [fan out there] trying to further some creepy agenda by ‘protecting’ my work.”
Wow. If that’s not the definition of getting Rickity Rickity REKT, I do not know what is.
Harmon dug into the motivation behind these gendered trolling campaigns as a “testosterone-based subculture patting themselves on the back for trolling these women,” and the “need to be proud of something they have, which is often only their race or gender.”
Lastly, Harmon — who was previously best known for creating the cult-favorite Community — gave a public service announcement to these sexist morons about how TV-making actually works:
I want to scream at my computer: ‘You idiots, we all write the show together!’ If you can tell the difference between one writer and another on a show I’m running I’ve probably gotten so lazy that it hasn’t all been blended and refined in the usual process. The reason one person’s name goes on an episode is that someone has to and everyone deserves one of those times at bat where they have to do all the grunt work … There’s a bunch of reasons why we don’t accurately reflect how many writers contribute to each episode in the credits.
As it so happens, though, “Pickle Rick” remains one of the best-rated episodes so far of the 3rd season by critics on Rotten Tomatoes — as well as Harmon’s own personal favorite. It’s also more than a little ironic that male trolls took issue with this episode in particular, considering that ‘Pickle Rick’ carried some obvious Freudian undertones.
It’s important to note that, overall, the Rick and Morty fan community is not standing by any of this. Several threads on the show’s active Reddit community see the majority of the fans and moderators telling the bad apples among them to sit down and STFU.
This isn’t a typical reaction to genderized harassment in other “boys club” communities (like gaming, fow example), so we’re glad that most Rick and Morty fans are proving to be as smart as the show itself.
For their part, the four female writers (especially the most targeted among them, Jane Becker and Jessica Gao) addressed the backlash in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter:
“One thing that really pisses me off is when people talk about how hiring writers should be a meritocracy,” Gao said. “The people who say that have never ever thought about what that actually means and where that meritocracy comes from. Overwhelmingly, the person who is deciding who is the funniest is going to be a white guy, usually in his 30s or 40s who for sure grew up middle class or upper middle class. Someone like that is going to have very specific life experience and a specific sense of humor.”
The whole interview is worth a read. The ladies give fascinating insights into how the show’s uniquely balanced writers room enabled everyone to up the ante on the most bold, hysterical, and gut-wrenching season of Rick and Morty to date.
When we reached out to an Adult Swim spokesperson, they said that, “We wholeheartedly support Dan and the entire team of talented female writers and crew on Rick and Morty.”