Today, Ganz took to Twitter again with a “weird” request that was actually pretty great. Ganz urged people to listen to Harmon’s latest podcast episode because he addressed what happened with Ganz head-on and actually provided a rare “good” apology. She was clear about the fact that since she had publicly called Harmon out, she would also now publicly accept his apology and move the conversation forward.
I’m not being flippant. I didn’t bring up this mess just to sweep it back under the rug. But I find myself in the odd position of having requested an apology publicly, and then having received one—a good one—also publicly. I waited 6 years for it, but you can find it 18:38 in.— Megan Ganz (@meganganz) January 11, 2018
Please listen to it. It’s only seven minutes long, but it is a masterclass in How to Apologize. He’s not rationalizing or justifying or making excuses. He doesn’t just vaguely acknowledge some general wrongdoing in the past. He gives a full account.— Megan Ganz (@meganganz) January 11, 2018
Yes, I only listened because I expected an apology. But what I didn't expect was the relief I’d feel just hearing him say these things actually happened. I didn’t dream it. I’m not crazy. Ironic that the only person who could give me that comfort is the one person I’d never ask.— Megan Ganz (@meganganz) January 11, 2018
This was never about vengeance; it's about vindication. That's why it didn’t feel right to just accept his apology in private (although I did that, too). Because if any part of this process should be done in the light, it’s the forgiveness part. And so, @danharmon, I forgive you.— Megan Ganz (@meganganz) January 11, 2018
And Harmon’s apology is indeed a good one. As Ganz notes, he explicitly would not rationalize or justify or make any excuses for his past behavior, and instead tried hard to only give a full account of what happened and allow the listener to analyze.
“I’ve had a lot advice, don’t talk about it, you don’t need to talk about it. Legal advice, don’t talk about it, you’re opening yourself up,” Harmon began. “The most important advice I’ve gotten is from women that I respect.” He explained these women told him that if he does truly want to be part of the solution, then he must speak out about how he has been part of the problem. “I want to make this a normal part of the process,” he said.
He then went on to detail what happened between him and Ganz. He does not name her, but he says he was attracted to a “writer that [he] had power over because [he] was a show runner” on a network sitcom. By “not dealing with [those feelings], I made everybody else deal with them, especially her. Flirty, creepy, everything other than overt enough to constitute betraying your live-in girlfriend to whom you’re going home to every night,” he continued.
“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, and said horrible things. Just treated her cruelly. Things I would never, ever have done if she would’ve been male,” he said. “I lost my job, I ruined my show, I betrayed the audience, I destroyed everything. And I damaged her internal compass.”
Harmon continued, “I certainly wouldn't have been able to do it if I had any respect for women [...] On a fundamental level, I was thinking about them as different creatures: I was thinking about the ones that I liked as having some special role in my life.”
The reactions have been overwhelmingly positive, with many people thanking both Ganz and Harmon for their grace and maturity throughout. In a time when sexual misconduct in the workplace is on everyone’s minds and on every headline, an example of a situation where a woman has been able to speak her truth and receive a meaningful apology—all the while in a public setting where others can learn from it—is indeed a triumph.
Megan, I am crying at my desk. Thank you for writing this. The grace shown here by both parties is remarkable. (I will listen to the podcast when I get a chance.)— Wendy Fox Weber (@tvjedi) January 11, 2018
Megan - Thank you for speaking out. What you went through was absolutely awful. It took a lot of bravery to come forward. I wish you peace and continued success.— Larry Trujillo (@LarryLTrujillo) January 11, 2018
Dan - Thank you for your words, as they spoke to a part of me I pretend doesn't exist. As men, we have to do better.
This is wonderful because if we're going to confront this moment and make positive change and move forward we will need ways to reach closure and forgive and move on - to offer relief to the hurt and also to rehabilitate the people who are capable of changing for the better.— Parsnip Spectacular (@ParSpec) January 11, 2018