Megan Ganz, a former Community writer who has also worked on Modern Family and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, said on social media that she forgives Community creator Dan Harmon for sexual harassment following his public apology.
“Here’s a weird one for you: Last week, I called out my former boss [Dan Harmon] for sexual harassment, and today I’m going to ask you to listen to his podcast,” Ganz wrote on Twitter. “I’m not being flippant. I didn’t bring up this mess just to sweep it back under the rug. But I find myself in the odd position of having requested an apology publicly, and then having received one — a good one—also publicly. I waited 6 years for it, but you can find it 18:38 in.” she added, directed followers to listen to Harmon’s Harmontown podcast.
“Please listen to it. It’s only seven minutes long, but it is a masterclass in How to Apologize. He’s not rationalizing or justifying or making excuses. He doesn’t just vaguely acknowledge some general wrongdoing in the past. He gives a full account,” she wrote. “Yes, I only listened because I expected an apology. But what I didn’t expect was the relief I’d feel just hearing him say these things actually happened. I didn’t dream it. I’m not crazy. Ironic that the only person who could give me that comfort is the one person I’d never ask. This was never about vengeance; it’s about vindication. That’s why it didn’t feel right to just accept his apology in private (although I did that, too). Because if any part of this process should be done in the light, it’s the forgiveness part. And so, [Dan Harmon], I forgive you.”
Earlier this month, Ganz accused Harmon of sexual harassment — and the Rick and Morty co-creator engaged in a lengthy back-and-forth with her via Twitter in which he acknowledged inappropriate behavior and asked her for input on how to address it publicly. On the latest episode of his podcast Harmontown, Harmon went into a lengthy description of his behavior.
“The most clinical way I can put it is I was attracted to a writer I had power over because I was a showrunner,” Harmon said on the podcast. “I knew enough to know that these feelings were bad news, that was easy enough to know. I knew they ran the risk of undercutting people’s faith in my judgment, her faith in her talent, the other writers’ respect for me … I knew that I wasn’t doing anybody any favors by feeling these things. I did the most cowardly thing you can do with feelings like that, and I didn’t deal with them. And in not dealing with them, I made everyone else deal with them, especially her.”
Harmon admitted that his attraction to Ganz eventually derailed his relationship with his live-in girlfriend at the time and even acknowledged it had a role in his broader dysfunction with NBC and Community, on top of damaging Ganz’s “internal compass.” Harmon apologized for his behavior but emphasized the main point that people need to be honest with themselves in situations like these and think seriously about what they’re doing to other people.
“So I just want to say, in addition to obviously being sorry (but that’s really not the important thing), that I did it by not thinking about it,” Harmon said. “And I got away with it. If she hadn’t mentioned something on Twitter, I would’ve continued not having to think about it … The last and most important thing I can say is, just think about it. If you don’t think about it, you’re gonna get away with not thinking about it, and you’re gonna cause a lot of damage that’s technically legal and hurts everybody. We’re living in a good time right now because we’re not gonna get away with it anymore. If we make it a normal part of our culture that we think about it and talk about it, maybe we can get to a better place where this doesn’t happen.”
In the past, some of Harmon’s fans have been both extremely passionate about his work and willing to harass women they see as criticizing or harming it (such as when they attacked female writers on Harmon’s current Adult Swim cartoon, Rick & Morty). So Harmon ended the segment with a plea to those fans: “Please don’t hurt her.”
Listen to the podcast episode here. The topic begins around 18:40.