Dan Harmon previously endeared himself to his more progressive fans when he declared his ire for sexist Rick & Morty viewers who were angry about a new group of female writers the show had hired in September. “I loathe these people,” he said in a statement at the time. Considering a more recent Twitter exchange he had with former Community writer Megan Ganz, however, the comedy showrunner and podcaster’s image may not be as squeaky clean as fans like to imagine. Harmon himself admitted as much on New Year’s Eve in a tweet calling 2017 “the Year of the Asshole.”
“This was truly the Year of the Asshole. Myself included,” he wrote without providing any further detail. “We don’t have to make 2018 the Year of the Mensch but I hope it can be the Year of the Not as Much of an Asshole.”
In the exchange that followed, Harmon said he “didn’t want to add narcissism to injury by naming [Ganz] without permission,” adding he had “talked on my podcast about the lines I crossed.” He then addressed his former employee’s concerns more directly, saying he would “talk about it more in any way that you think is just” and that he was “deeply sorry.” Even so, as for what Harmon was talking about, the Rick & Morty co-creator refrained from getting to specific and chalked it up to “foggy memories about abusing [his] position” and “treating [Ganz] like garbage.”
Ganz’s memories, however, remain intact. “I wish my memories were foggier,” she responded. “I wish there was a way to fix it. It took me years to believe in my talents again, to trust a boss when he complimented me and not cringe when he asked for my number. I was afraid to be enthusiastic, knowing it might be turned against me later.”
After some further back-and-forth, Harmon said he was “disgusted and sorry that I stained our show and your talent with my selfish, childish sh*t.” In response (and in conclusion, at least on Twitter), Ganz said, “It’s good to recognize power dynamics, but it’s also good to recognize you’re no different from those you employ. You’re not a king on a hilltop, nor a beast in a labyrinth. Isolation isn’t always best. Connection breeds empathy. Empathy allows growth.”
This isn’t the first time the former employer and employee have publicly feuded on social media. In 2013, when Harmon returned for Community‘s fifth season and equated the fourth to having been raped on an episode of his podcast, Ganz subtweeted him with a similarly themed (yet far more concise) jab.