Until Dan Harmon came out against some of his fans, I had no idea that there was controversy over the fact that half of the Rick & Morty writers are women now. I mean, it’s the Internet, and it’s 2017, so I’m not surprised, but some are apparently blaming the female writers for a slide in quality this season, which is odd because I haven’t detected a slide in quality, either (although, I have noticed that the show has become more self-referential, which I suspect has nothing to do with the female writers and everything to do with Dan Harmon).
But it’s true: There are people not only criticizing the female writers (here’s but one example), but threatening them on Twitter and doxxing them. Because men are disappointing creatures and that’s the fucking world we live in now.
Dan Harmon would like to separate himself from part of his fanbase, as he tells Entertainment Weekly:
“I’m on a Twitter sabbatical, so the last thing I saw about that was [the Reddit thread detailing the harassment], and I’ve seen the tweets they’ve sent to the female writer,” Harmon says. “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. 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.”
Continues Harmon: “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. It’s offensive to me as someone who was born male and white, and still works way harder than them, that there’s some white male [fan out there] trying to further some creepy agenda by ‘protecting’ my work. I’ve made no bones about the fact that I loathe these people. It f—ing sucks. And the only thing I can say is if you’re lucky enough to make a show that is really good that people like, that means some bad people are going to like it too. You can’t just insist that everybody who watches your show get their head on straight … And I’m speaking for myself — I don’t want the show to have a political stance. But at the same time, individually, these [harassers] aren’t politicians and don’t represent politics. They represent some shit that I probably believed when I was 15.”
These people have been particularly harsh on the episodes “written by” women, which — as Harmon points out — is a complete misunderstanding of the writing process. No one writer writes a particular episode — they’re all written by the room — but a name has to be appended to each episode. “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.”
In a season that’s given us Pickle Rick and 6 “A” grade episodes and one “A-” as judged by the AV Club, I have no idea what anyone has to complain about this season. Male fragility must be at play again.