Comedian Brett Gelman’s broke with Adult Swim this week over their treatment of women creatives and their support of sketch show Million Dollar Extreme, which is very popular amongst the loosely organized group of extreme racist conservatives known as the “alt-right.” He is not the only one who is unhappy with them.
BuzzFeed reports that many people at Adult Swim have been questioning the inclusion of Million Dollar Extreme Presents: World Peace since it was announced as part of the programming block in May. The network’s boss Mike Lazzo is not necessarily a fan of the show, but enjoys controversy and is “anti-establishment.” How anti-establishment is Million Dollar Extreme?
According to one source with knowledge of the network’s operations, it’s likely that Lazzo is already aware of the show’s solicitations of the alt-right. The same source said that the Adult Swim standards department repeatedly found coded racist messages in the show, including swastikas, which were removed ahead of broadcast. None of this was enough, according to one of the sources, to convince Lazzo not to air the show.
Several Adult Swim employees spoke with BuzzFeed under the condition of anonymity, fearing they’re be harassed by MDE fans or even the show’s creators. To be fair, one of the show’s creators Sam Hyde is discouraging harassment on Twitter, of both Adult Swim employees and himself:
One anonymous employee said that “people with shows were aware of it [MDE] and angry about it,” and another added, “I know at least one person who is very high up there who was furious about it before it came out.”
Despite renewed awareness of what Million Dollar Extreme is, and the demographic it caters to, Lazzo has not released any more info on its future on Adult Swim. BuzzFeed was referred to the same statement released on MDE in August:
Adult Swim’s reputation and success with its audience has always been based on strong and unique comedic voices. Million Dollar Extreme’s comedy is known for being provocative with commentary on societal tropes, and though not a show for everyone, the company serves a multitude of audiences and supports the mission that is specific to Adult Swim and its fans.