Dan Harmon has issued an apology for a video pilot he made in 2009 which features a scene depicting the rape of a baby doll. The video resurfaced during Comic-Con weekend and caused backlash against Harmon on social media, leading to the “Rick and Morty” co-creator deleting his Twitter account.
“In 2009, I made a ‘pilot’ which strove to parody the series ‘Dexter’ and only succeeded in offending,” Harmon said in a statement. “I quickly realized the content was way too distasteful and took the video down immediately. Nobody should ever have to see what you saw and for that, I sincerely apologize.”
The video was posted on Channel 101 and features Harmon’s character climbing through a window, pulling down his pants, and rubbing his genitals on a baby doll lying on a couch. Harmon appears on camera at the start of the video warning viewers the following footage is “controversial.”
Adult Swim stood by the co-creator in its own statement. The controversial video went viral just days after Disney severed ties with James Gunn for controversial tweets that resurfaced on social media. Unlike Disney, Adult Swim is not firing Harmon.
“At Adult Swim, we seek out and encourage creative freedom and look to push the envelope in many ways, particularly around comedy,” an Adult Swim spokesperson said. “The offensive content of Dan’s 2009 video that recently surfaced demonstrates poor judgement and does not reflect the type of content we seek out. Dan recognized his mistake at the time and has apologized. He understands there is no place for this type of content here at Adult Swim.”
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Adult Swim renewed Harmon’s “Rick and Morty” for 70 episodes earlier this year.