Dan Harmon apologized profusely for badmouthing Community’s fourth season during the most recent edition of his “Harmontown” podcast.
The brutally, suicidally honest writer was recorded comparing the experience of watching those 13 episodes to “flipping through Instagram just watching your girlfriend blow everyone” and “being held down and watching your family get raped on a beach.”
The general gist of Harmon’s apologia: He spoke without considering anyone’s feelings but his own. “After five seconds of thinking, I realized, as usual, that other people might be hurt, and that I really need to do this whole ‘saying things and thinking about other people’ cycle in a different order at some point,” Harmon admitted.
“I was very much not thinking about anyone but myself while watching that season, which was the crime […] I was just indulging my petty feelings about being left out. It seemed kind of funny at the time because it seemed at the time like I was the only person with feelings.”
He went on to issue specific “I’m sorry”s to Community fans, the show’s cast and crew, and season 4’s writers. The third apology was tainted slightly by Harmon’s assertion that those writers “had the option of doing it [writing season 4] the lazy way or the sellout way and you clearly did what you did because you were thinking of the fans” — though Harmon did take pains to note that they had penned “some amazing stuff,” citing one joke in particular that he “had to rewind a couple times to finish laughing.”
Harmon also made sure to address the inflammatory language of his criticism: “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,” he said. Additionally, he wrote, “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.”
The missive is straightforward, sincere, and charmingly self-deprecating — but Harmon, at least, is hoping he won’t have to write one like it again. And how does he plan to accomplish that goal? By not discussing his work on Community in his podcast until season 5 has wrapped. “That will protect the show you love, and your love of it, from the creator with the Mouth from PR Hell,” he explained.