In an effort to bring some diversity to what has traditionally been a “boys club,” this year Dan Harmon and company brought on four new female writers to the Rick and Morty writers’ room: Jane Becker, Erica Rosbe, Sarah Carbiener, and Jessica Gao. Unfortunately — because a geek-skewing show like Rick and Morty tends to have a young, male viewer base — a very small, yet loud, segment of viewers was inevitably up in arms over the new staffers.
This sadly led to Becker and Gao being doxxed and harassed online for the unthinkable crime of having episodes credited to them, “Rickmancing the Stone” and “Pickle Rick,” respectively — and the abuse was eventually documented in a Reddit thread last month. Series co-creator Harmon has absolutely no tolerance for sexist Rick and Morty fans, however, as he explained to EW recently in no uncertain terms.
Although Harmon is currently on a self-imposed Twitter sabbatical, he says he’s aware of the Reddit thread and has seen some of the offending tweets, and he finds the whole thing disgusting.
I was familiar going into the third season, having talked to Felicia Day, that any high-profile women get doxxed, they get harassed, they get threatened, they get slandered. And part of it is a testosterone-based subculture patting themselves on the back for trolling these women. Because to the extent that you get can get a girl to shriek about a frog you’ve proven girls are girly and there’s no crime in assaulting her with a frog because it’s all in the name of proving something. I think it’s all disgusting.
These knobs, that want to protect the content they think they own — and somehow combine that with their need to be proud of something they have, which is often only their race or gender. It’s offensive to me as someone who was born male and white, and still works way harder than them, that there’s some white male [fan out there] trying to further some creepy agenda by ‘protecting’ my work. I’ve made no bones about the fact that I loathe these people. It f—ing sucks. And the only thing I can say is if you’re lucky enough to make a show that is really good that people like, that means some bad people are going to like it too. You can’t just insist that everybody who watches your show get their head on straight.
Harmon added that it’s especially frustrating that those complaining have a “total ignorance of how writing a television show works.” Because, while yes, one name is credited per episode, writing is a collaborative process, and there are are many reasons why they can’t and don’t accurately reflect how many writers contribute to each episode.
“I want to scream at my computer: ‘You idiots, we all write the show together!’” he said. “If you can tell the difference between one writer and another on a show I’m running I’ve probably gotten so lazy that it hasn’t all been blended and refined in the usual process.”