Dan Harmon may be a jerk — but at least he’s not a defensive jerk. Yesterday, KRCW’s The Business aired a candid interview with Harmon. The segment goes a long way toward rehabilitating the difficult reputation Harmon earned this spring, when news of his feud with Chevy Chase and his subsequent ousting from Community made headlines.
After being asked point-blank about rumors that he’s difficult to work with, Harmon didn’t hesitate: “I think I started them,” he told KRCW. “I think I’m a self-effacing, self-destructive person, and I think that every speech I made to my own crew and the people above me was, ‘Sorry, I’m not good at this.'” Harmon later admitted that he understands why Sony Entertainment removed him from his showrunning post — “I would have fired me too, because it’s a business.”
The notoriously prickly producer hasn’t totally lost his edge; in the interview, Harmon also called himself a “creative elitist” and said his only Community regret is not making “a little more fun of the people I’ll obviously never work with again.” (Fun fact: The male Kim mocked in Season 3’s “Digital Exploration of Interior Design” was named after Sony Executive Vice President Kim Rozenfeld. The episode included “a lot of jokes about kim’s a girl’s name, and who cares about his notes,” Harmon said with a laugh.)
Still, Harmon admitting that he was fired for a reason is a leap from the scathing letter he posted on his Tumblr back in May, which heaped blame on the execs Harmon said never gave his show a chance. It’s certainly possible to enjoy someone’s work without liking their personality — but being able to do both is preferable. And a more mature, less vindictive Harmon is much easier to root for than the Harmon who publicly humiliated one of his stars this spring.
Does news of Dan Harmon’s new-found humility make you more excited about his upcoming projects, like the stop-motion animated movie he’s making with Charlie Kaufman? Or does the writer’s behavior not have an impact on the way you feel about his work?