In case you haven't heard, Dan Harmon finally watched season four of Community. Also, in case you haven't heard, he didn't like it all that much—his words were, to be specific: "Man, watching those characters without me there is just not fuckin' cool, man. It's like flipping through Instagrams and watching your girlfriend just blow a million [other guys]," and "There's something awesome about having all of those preconceived notions ripped away from you. It's exciting. There's something exciting about being held down and watching your family get raped on a beach. It's liberating. It makes you focus on what's important." Yikes.
Shortly after his comments made their way online (he said them during an episode of his podcast, Harmontown), Harmon took to his Twitter in an effort to apologize:
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.— Dan Harmon (@danharmon) June 17, 2013
I like making stuff that pleases people, I like being honest about my feelings but I hate hurting other people, especially community fans.— Dan Harmon (@danharmon) June 17, 2013
Since 140 characters wasn't enough space to accurately cover everything that was wrong with his statements, though, Harmon also took to his blog to pen a 1,600 word essay to clarify what exactly he meant. It's a long read, so here's a highlight:
"I am first and foremost sorry to Community fans that got paid nothing to stick by Community and get us to a fifth season only to hear the incoming showrunner say some stuff that felt very un-Community. Even if my goal had been to hurt someone, it would never have been you. What I said was disrespectful to your love for this show, love that I sometimes erroneously equate with validation of me as a person. I am unwittingly and unfortunately infamous for the amount I care about your opinion. I often say that I write in an attempt to “make people like me.” I’m realizing what makes me unlikable is that I haven’t made the leap from “caring what people think about me” to “caring about people.” And let’s face it, if I’m doing this at 40 how cool am I going to get before I die. But I do know, every minute of every day, that I owe you folks what I consider to be my life and guarantee you that every time I’ve pissed you off it’s been on accident." [...]
Next I want to apologize to the people that did get paid to work on that season, but not enough: the cast and crew. I get personal value out of being as honest as possible, but, honestly, how honest was what I said? It was dishonest to imply that something you worked on was as hard to watch as my family being assaulted. I was riffing and tried to turn darkness into levity through shock and hyperbole. I was very much not thinking about anyone but myself while watching that season, which was the crime. I hope over time you’ll forgive me."
He also apologizes to the season four writers, and admits that the jokes included in season four were actually very funny. Lastly:
"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. Done and done."
You can check out the apology in full here.