“Rick and Morty” co-showrunner Dan Harmon has harsh words for the people harassing his show’s female writers: “I’ve made no bones about the fact that I loathe these people.”
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Harmon responded to online backlash against writers Jane Becker and Jessica Gao, who were credited on the episodes “Rickmancing the Stone” and “Pickle Rick.”
The women have been harassed on Twitter and had their personal information put online (a harassment practice known as “doxxing”). A Reddit thread, which lays out the events, said that the two have been the subject of complaints and abuse due in part to people not liking the episodes.
Harmon, who’s been on a social media break and hasn’t been keeping up with Reddit conversations or other drama, said that it was something he was sort of expecting.
“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,” he told EW. “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,” he continued. “I’ve made no bones about the fact that I loathe these people.”
Around a month ago, elastic_gomez, a moderator on the show’s subreddit, responded to the events.
“It’s beyond sh-tty that these people have worked hard for so long only to be treated this way over a f—ing cartoon,” they wrote. “If you set aside the sexism, the rest of this is rooted in ignorance about how animated shows are produced.”
Harmon echoed the moderator’s statements, saying that a lot of the harassment comes from people who don’t understand how production works. The fact that harassers are singling out the credited writer shows that ignorance, since while one person might get credit, “Rick and Morty” is created as a team.
“I want to scream at my computer: ‘You idiots, we all write the show together!’ 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,” he said.
Both Harmon and creator Justin Roiland have been open about how this season is one of the first to have a more gender-balanced writers’ room and, if anything, it’s improved the show.
“I felt like it was awesome,” Roiland said. “Having many different points of view and perspectives in that room is only going to make things more interesting.”