Rick and Morty is a very popular animated sci-fi show currently in its third season. The previous two seasons have had an all male writing staff. This year, however, the show added four women to it's staff and for the first time ever had an equal balance between men and women.
For whatever reason, this upset a great number of fans. They've taken to harassing these women online, including posting public information about them, like their home addresses.
Entrainment Weekly asked one of the show's co-creators, Dan Harmon, what he thought of the controversy and the always out-spoken Dan Harmon had a lot to say.
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. 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.
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.
It’s total ignorance of how writing a television show works. It’s frustrating enough having run Community for several years to see threads like, ‘Oh well, it makes sense this episode was written by Andy Bobrow because when Hilary Winston wrote her episode she tends to linger more on dialogue and Andy is better at the I-want-to-hold-you moments.’ And 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. The reason one person’s name goes on an episode is that someone has to and everyone deserves one of those times at bat where they have to do all the grunt work — they have to do all the outlining, sometimes, if they’re willing to, they can expand into the post-production process. There’s a bunch of reasons why we don’t accurately reflect how many writers contribute to each episode in the credits.
Even before the season began, Harmon talked about how having four women in the room was helpful for the show because it offered a new perspective and allowed them to write better storylines for their female characters.
Even despite Harmon saying that he likes having women write on the show and most fans agreeing that season three has been the strongest season yet, there is still a very vocal minority who feels the need to harass these women. However, now that Harmon has brought these issues into the spotlight the rest of the fanbase is also pointing out why the trolls are wrong.
Rick and Morty airs Sundays at 10. So watch the show, and fight the trolls.