Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim block doesn’t have a particularly good history of treating women fairly, so it seemed like a good sign when Rick And Morty—one of Adult Swim’s most high-profile shows—made an effort to hire more female writers in the lead-up to its third season. Unfortunately, some of the show’s fans didn’t get the memo that they—like Adult Swim—should stop being such misogynistic assholes. Apparently, sexist Rick And Morty fans have been harassing new writers Jane Becker and Jessica Gao on social media, going so far as to share their personal information online in what seems to be an attempt to shame/scare them into leaving the show.
Entertainment Weekly talked to Rick And Morty co-creator Dan Harmon about this, and it sounds like he’s pretty pissed off:
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.
He then went on to discuss how much it frustrates him to know that people like this watch his show:
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 fucking 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.
Harmon also explained that it’s ridiculous to pin the blame for any issue a viewer might have with the show on any one writer, because they all write the show together, but using logic like that is probably a little excessive when dealing with people who are simply furious that a woman is writing their nerdy cartoon show.