Some parents are calling to cancel Adult Swim’s hit show Rick and Morty after an old Dan Harmon video has resurfaced that first caused controversy in 2018. The comments and social media posts are often accompanied by the #SavetheChildren hashtag. Some people mistakenly see the posts and think the series is canceled, but it’s not. Adult Swim still has six more seasons of Rick and Morty ordered.
Here’s what you need to know:
The Video Was Created in 2009 as a Parody of ‘Dexter’ & First Resurfaced in 2018
Some parents have recently discovered an old video by Dan Harmon that first resurfaced about two years ago. At the time, the video was so controversial that some people said Harmon deleted his Twitter account as a result. On Harmontown, Harmon said he had deleted his Twitter account after Disney fired James Gunn for old tweets and before the backlash from his old video went viral.
The disturbing Daryl video showed Harmon simulating raping a baby doll. It was a skit for a pilot that was supposed to be a spoof of Dexter, Deadline reported at the time. Daryl debuted in 2009 at a comedy sketch festival called Channel 101. So yes, if you saw a video of Harmon simulating raping a doll, with nudity, that is a real video that Harmon admitted that he did make in 2009.
When the video resurfaced in 2018, Harmon issued a statement in response to the outrage:
In 2009, I made a ‘pilot’ which strove to parody the series Dexter and only succeeded in offending. 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 website Channel 101 (note: the link is NSFW and shows a photo with nudity) still has screenshots of two Daryl episodes. One reads: “Originally made with Showtime, Dan Harmon presents a groundbreaking new show about the darker side of therapy.” The other reads: “The shocking second episode of Daryl can not be viewed online, but know that someone may or may not have raped a cat.”
According to Channel 101, the episodes were first screened on June 28, 2009 and last screened on July 26, 2009. Channel 101 is a monthly short film festival in Los Angeles that was created by Dan Harmon and Rob Schrab. Participants submit pilots under five minutes in length.
Some Parents Are Calling to Cancel ‘Rick and Morty,’ but Adult Swim Already Decided Not to Cancel the Show in 2018
The new posts about Harmon’s old video are going viral on Facebook and Twitter, and some include the hashtag #SavetheChildren or #SaveOurChildren. Here are some messages shared on social media about it:
But Adult Swim already decided in 2018 not to cancel Rick and Morty as a result of the sketch video.
Adult Swim said in a 2018 statement about the video:
At Adult Swim, we seek out and encourage creative freedom and look to push the envelope in many ways, particularly around comedy. 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.
Some people are sharing on social media that Rick and Morty is canceled, but it’s not. In fact, Adult Swim still has six more seasons of the show ordered.
After Season 3, Adult Swim signed on for 70 more episodes of the show. That announcement was made in May 2018. Adult Swim confirmed with Heavy in a statement at the time: “Adult Swim has made a long-term overall deal with the creators that will include 70 new episodes of the critically acclaimed series.”
This means there are still 60 more episodes ordered under the deal that Adult Swim signed for the show, which will likely be aired in the form of six seasons with 10 episodes each.
A sketch for a cold open in the upcoming fifth season was released during the Adult Swim Con on July 24.