Yesterday the question of what Dan Harmon thought of Community’s fourth season was answered in typically unfiltered, impolitic Dan Harmon fashion. No sir, he didn’t like it: He found it to be an “unflattering” impression of his style and supposed quirks. He compared it to “flipping through Instagrams watching your girlfriend just blow everyone” (the faux-grainy Instagram filter only adding to the affectations, we suppose). And in his version of putting a positive spin on things, he said that ultimately it was as relaxing as a day at the beach, one that involved “being held down and watching your family get raped.” It was a review as honest as it was hoooo boy, maybe let’s not make a rape joke, and as predictably harsh as it was predictably poorly received.
Now, as is the way of things, Harmon has issued an apology—first via tweets, then via a lengthy blog post in which he addresses each and every possible aggrieved party. First there’s the fans, to whom he says, “What I said was disrespectful to your love for this show, love that I sometimes erroneously equate with validation of me as a person.” And while most of the diehard Dan Harmon fans have likely come to know and even expect the unguarded, splenetic spillage of Harmontown, he now says, “To keep from hurting you, I’m going to try thinking about you before saying things into microphones,” including vowing to “stop talking about my job in my podcast until production is safely complete. That will protect the show you love, and your love of it, from the creator with the Mouth from PR Hell. I will do this.”
Without then stopping to apologize to all of us bottom-feeding blogs who now will have nothing to write about, Harmon moved on to the actors and crew who might have been offended by his analogy casting them as beach-rapists. “It was dishonest to imply that something you worked on was as hard to watch as my family being assaulted,” he said. “I was riffing and tried to turn darkness into levity through shock and hyperbole.” He added, “I was just indulging my petty feelings about being left out. It seemed kind of funny at the time because it seemed at the time like I was the only person with feelings. Because my head was up my ass.”
He then turned to the writers, whom he couldn’t help implicating in that supposed assault (even as Megan Ganz, for one, seemed to be taking the whole “beach rape” thing in stride). “I’m sorry I pooped on your work,” he said, acknowledging he’d done far worse than the farting on them he once said he’d avoid. “You had to do something nobody should have to attempt, and you had the option of doing it the lazy way or the sellout way and you clearly did what you did because you were thinking of the fans.” And while that may seem like sort of a backhanded apology (So… they did it the lazy way?), Harmon does admit “there was some amazing stuff in there,” calling out the “Hogan’s Villains” line as an example of something that made him laugh a lot. “I broke a code when I judged the work of writers with whom I wasn’t in the same trenches,” he concluded. “I’ll suffer for it because I’ll be looking for a job soon enough and nobody will want to work with Judgy McPsycho Van Crieswhenhetypes.”
And finally, Harmon turned his attention to those for whom his remarks stung the most: People who may not even care about Community, yet they heard he made a rape joke, and also possibly made fun of the disabled with that “durpy durpy durr” stuff. It’s very long, so you should just go read it, but in summation: “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.”
Having thus apologized to everyone who might have possibly come away with the impression that Dan Harmon has issues with tact and diplomacy, he then returned to the job he was previously fired from because of his issues with tact and diplomacy. “Now I’m going to get back to conceptualizing with the writers about season 5 and, I hope, achieve a heightened level of actual empathy in the bargain,” Harmon wrote. So it sounds like season five will be extra hilarious, what with all the added empathy.