On his podcast Sunday night, Community creator Dan Harmon used a rather, um, unpleasant rape analogy to describe the agonizing helplessness of watching his replacements pick up his brainchild and run with it. “It’s exciting," Harmon said. "There’s something awesome about being held down and watching your family get raped on a beach.”
Fans were less than thrilled.
Then, last night, Harmon wrote an incisive, introspective, and funny apology.
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.
Oh, on the politically correct side, I just remembered something else. I think when I did my impression of Season 4’s impression of me, I said “durpy durpy dur, I’m Dan Harmon,” which I think I saw someone point out is language used to dehumanize the developmentally disabled, and that’s not cool, I shouldn’t have done that.
This is a good way to do things.