Dan Harmon, the creator of NBC sitcom “Community” and co-creator of the animated series “Rick and Morty,” is the latest Hollywood figure to be mired in controversy over alleged “jokes” centering on pedophilia and rape.
In a comedy pilot screened back in 2009, Harmon, also an actor, plays the role of a child molester named Daryl. The five-minute video posted on Channel 101 was intended to be a parody of sorts, with the site describing the project as a “groundbreaking new show about the darker side of therapy.”
“What seems to be troubling you?” a man playing the role of a therapist asks Harmon in the video.
“Can I trust you?” Harmon responds, in character as Daryl.
“Of course, you can trust me. I’m your therapist,” the other actor replies.
Harmon then remarks, “I rape babies.”
The 45-year-old producer appears to be somewhat aware he could be crossing the line, offering up a short disclaimer at the beginning of the video.
“You’re about to watch my controversial new pilot, Daryl,” he says. “Now I have to warn you, I originally made it with Showtime for their audience because it’s a little groundbreaking for normal people to handle. But maybe you’ll surprise me. Good luck.”
Other scenes throughout the show are similarly disturbing. At one point, Harmon rubs his private parts on a plastic baby doll.
In the wake of the video resurfacing online, Harmon reportedly deleted his official Twitter account. As recorded in a saved archive of his account, the creator had about 619,000 followers as of January. A representative of Harmon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Harmon is the latest in a series of recent incidents involving high-profile Hollywood figures caught up in controversy over jokes on pedophilia. Director James Gunn was fired by Disney on July 20, after a series of inappropriate Twitter posts was dug up and reported on by a number of media outlets.
Gunn, who directed the “Guardians of the Galaxy” movies and produced “Avengers: Infinity War,” attempted to defend tweets he posted that made light of pedophilia, child abuse, and rape.
“Many people who have followed my career know when I started, I viewed myself as a provocateur, making movies and telling jokes that were outrageous and taboo,” Gunn wrote in a series of statements on his personal account on July 19. “As I have discussed publicly many times, as I’ve developed as a person, so has my work and my humor.”