Dan Harmon Is Sorry for 'Saying Things' and Not 'Thinking About Other People'

Follow-up to this post.

Dan Harmon feels really bad about the terrible things he said yesterday about the Community season he wasn't in charge of because, you know, he got fired, and he's sorry because he didn't think about other people first, which doesn't make a lot of sense considering pretty much the entire TV world listens to the drip of his every word. On Monday, during an episode of his "Harmontown" podcast, Community's new/old showrunner compared watching the fourth season of the show — the season he spent watching from home, on DVD, like the rest of us plebes — to "being held down and watching your family get raped on a beach," among other gross things. That was the worst, though. After Harmon's comments got a bunch of coverage, a no-brainer considering Harmon said previously he would not comment on the show's fourth season, he's now trying to apologize for his dumb mistake.

"I feel bad if I made anyone feel bad with my comments in harmontown. It's a dirty, personal comedy podcast, not charismatic for quoting," he tweeted Tuesday morning. "I like making stuff that pleases people, I like being honest about my feelings but I hate hurting other people, especially community fans," he added, before unloading a much longer Tumblr post explaining how he came to realize how dumb his comments were:

I went to bed feeling great, woke up and started work on season five of Community with our exciting season five staff. I took them to lunch, checked my tweets, discovered my name in several headlines next to several bad words, and, as usual, it was then that I started to consider how my words might affect other people if viewed as headlines. After five seconds of thinking, I realized, as usual, that other people might be hurt, and that I really need to do this whole “saying things and thinking about other people” cycle in a different order at some point. I think it would make my podcast shorter but I think there’s a lot of listeners that would consider that an upgrade, too.

It's hard to reconcile a writer like Harmon, who is supposed to pour over every word and nuance in his television shows, being so tone-deaf to his own comments that he didn't realize the effect they would have until the next morning.

But he did deliver a heartfelt apology that seems like he recognizes what he said was unbecoming of someone in his position. But, again, come on, fam. He's speaking in a public forum. He knows journalists listen to his podcast. He's one of the most covered behind-the-scenes figures in television, the most blogged-about, dramatized comedy showrunner in the age of the showrunner. He knows his words carry weight. Harmon needs to recognize the microscope he's working under — after Sony brought him back to run his show, after firing him, and when most people thought Community would have been cancelled by now. But, hey, he's still got a job. At least he's got that going for him.


Regarding his rape jokes:

Almost lastly, I have to address this “rape joke” concept. I have to address it because it looks like if I don’t say anything, it could send the wrong message to people with an understandable passion for the subject. This is a subject that is, and should be, insanely volatile and provocative, because it combines the words “rape” and “joke.” It puts them right next to each other, it’s like putting a running chainsaw next to a puppy, it’s just not something you can walk past without getting disturbed and invested. Does anyone think rape is funny? I hope not. Do we become more progressive culturally through the mitigation of inappropriate language? I don’t know, it’s sure worth continued discussion, if you feel strongly one way or the other you should come up on stage at the next Harmontown. In the mean time, I am deeply sorry to anyone I hurt by using the word “rape” in a comedic context. I am sorry to anyone I hurt by conjuring the concept of rape in a metaphor about my stupid hurt feelings. As you saw above, unless you skimmed this blog entry for the word “rape,” I was not thinking about the impact of my words on the people that love Community and work on it. So I hope you can believe me when I tell you I was definitely not thinking about the impact of that word on people that are currently seeking to get it out of comedic contexts. I’m very sorry to have hurt and frustrated you and I will definitely be swayed from the use of that word in comedic contexts because I don’t like hurting people and as an added bonus, I don’t like getting yelled at on Twitter. Especially when the people yelling have phrases like “rape joke” on their side. It’s kind of hard to think of oneself as being “pro rape joke.” Don’t want to be that guy.

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I'm so sorry you were the victim of people who have the "rape joke" concept-card on their side, Dan Harmon. I'm glad you will definitely consider not making rape jokes in the future to avoid getting yelled at by people may feel hurt by your words, even though you were just trying to be funny and progressive.