A few hours ago, I landed in Los Angeles, turned on my phone, and confirmed what you already know. Sony Pictures Television is replacing me as showrunner on Community, with two seasoned fellows that Iím sure are quite nice - actually, I have it on good authority theyíre quite nice, because they once created a show and cast my good friend Jeff Davis on it, so how bad can they be.
Whyíd Sony want me gone? I canít answer that because Iíve been in as much contact with them as you have. They literally havenít called me since the season four pickup, so their reasons for replacing me are clearly none of my business. Community is their property, I only own ten percent of it, and I kind of donít want to hear what their complaints are because Iím sure it would hurt my feelings even more now that Iíd be listening for free.
I do want to correct a couple points of spin, now that Iím free to do so:
The important one is this quote from Bob Greenblatt in which he says heís sure Iím going to be involved somehow, something like that. Thatís a misquote. I think he meant to say heís sure cookies are yummy, because heís never called me once in the entire duration of his employment at NBC. He didnít call me to say he was starting to work there, he didnít call me to say I was no longer working there and he definitely didnít call to ask if I was going to be involved. Iím not saying itís wrong for him to have bigger fish to fry, Iím just saying, NBC is not a credible source of All News Dan Harmon.
You may have read that I am technically ďsigned on,Ē by default, to be an executive consulting something or other - which is a relatively standard protective clause for a creator in my position. Guys like me canít actually just be shot and left in a ditch by Skynet, weíre still allowed to have a title on the things we create and ďhelp out,Ē like, I guess sharpening pencils and stuff.
However, if I actually chose to go to the office, I wouldnít have any power there. Nobody would have to do anything I said, ever. I would be ďofferingĒ thoughts on other peopleís scripts, not allowed to rewrite them, not allowed to ask anyone else to rewrite them, not allowed to say whether a single joke was funny or go near the edit bay, etc. ItísÖ.not really the way the previous episodes got done. I was what you might call aÖ.hands on producer. Are myÖ.periods giving this enoughÖ.pointedness? Iím not saying you canít make a good version of Community without me, but I am definitely saying that you canít make my version of it unless I have the option of saying ďit has to be like this or I quitĒ roughly 8 times a day.
The same contract also gives me the same salary and title if I spend all day masturbating and playing Prototype 2. And before you ask yourself what you would do in my situation: buy Prototype 2. Itís fucking great.
Because Prototype 2 is great, and because nobody called me, and then started hiring people to run the show, I had my assistant start packing up my office days ago. Iím sorry. Iím not saying seasons 1, 2 and 3 were my definition of perfect television, Iím just saying that whatever theyíre going to do for season 4, theyíre aiming to do without my help. So do not believe anyone that tells you on Monday that I quit or diminished my role so I could spend more time with my loved ones, or that I negotiated and we couldnít come to an agreement, etc. It couldnít be less true because, just to make this clear, literally nobody called me. Also donít believe anyone that says I have sex with animals. And if thereís a photo of me doing it with an animal - Iím not saying one exists, Iím just saying, if one surfaces - itís a fake. Look at the shadow. Why would it be in front of the giraffe if the sun is behind the jeep?
Where was I? Oh yeah. Iím not running Community for season 4. They replaced me. Themís the facts.
When I was a kid, sometimes Iíd run home to Mommy with a bloody nose and say, ďMom, my friends beat me up,Ē and my Mom would say ďwell then theyíre not worth having as friends, are they?Ē At the time, I figured she was just trying to put a postive spin on having birthed an unpopular pussy. But this is, after all, the same lady that bought me my first typewriter. Then later, a Commodore 64. And later, a 300 baud modem for it. Through which I met new friends that did like me much, much more.
Iím 39, now. The friends my Mom warned me about are bigger now, and older, bloodying my nose with old world numbers, and old world tactics, like, oh, I donít know, sending out press releases to TV Guide at 7pm on a Friday.
But my Commodore 64 is mobile now, like yours, and the modems are invisible, and the internet is the air all around us. And the good friends, the real friends, are finding each other, and connecting with each other, and my Mom is turning out to be more right than ever.
Ah, shit, I still havenít called my fucking Mom.
Mom, Happy Motherís Day. I got fired.
Yes, Mom. AGAIN.