UPDATED 10:02 a.m. ET: Dan Harmon has issued an apology after deleting his Twitter account yesterday. “In 2009, I made a ‘pilot’ which strove to parody the series Dexter and only succeeded in offending," he said, according to the Guardian. "I quickly realized the content was way too distasteful and took the video down immediately. Nobody should ever have to see what you saw and for that, I sincerely apologize.”
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In the skit, Harmon portrays a shrink who proposes that "it's a little known fact that [babies] having bad things done to them has a cleansing effect on their psyche." Harmon's character is also seen entering a patient's home and simulating sex with a plastic baby doll.
According to IndieWire, the video received renewed interest over the weekend and was criticized for attempting to make light of sexual assault. Though Harmon hasn't publicly commented on the clip's resurfacing, his Twitter was inaccessible at the time of this writing.
This comes shortly after the firing of Guardians of the Galaxy franchise director James Gunn, who was controversially ousted by Disney after old tweets referencing sexual assault and pedophilia were brought into the spotlight by right wing critics. "My words of nearly a decade ago were, at the time, totally failed and unfortunate efforts to be provocative," Gunn later said in a statement. "I have regretted them for many years since—not just because they were stupid, not at all funny, wildly insensitive, and certainly not provocative like I had hoped, but also because they don't reflect the person I am today or have been for some time."
As with Gunn's firing, the resurfacing of Harmon's skit making light of child sexual assault has inspired debate among industry commentators and fans: