The only thing sadder than watching a beloved showrunner leave is seeing what sort of canned lines the cast and crew are given when talking on the subject — and this is what has happened with “Community” following the exit of Dan Harmon.
If you head on over to The Hollywood Reporter, you can see a memo sent out by studio Sony Pictures TV basically instructing the cast as to how to answer questions relating to Harmon’s exit in upcoming interviews.
For one example, here is what the memo suggests actors say when asked about why Dan was let go:
“We’re not made aware of why staffing changes take place but I will always be grateful to Dan for his great work on the show and wish him only the best. We’re also excited that we’ll be back on NBC’s schedule in the fall and are looking forward to working on those episodes.”
Harmon is being replaced by David Guarascio and Moses Port, who have the terrifying challenge of trying to appease the show’s diehard fans following what has been a rather nasty past few weeks of headlines. At this point, many within the show’s fanbase actually would have preferred to see the show canceled rather than go on without its fearless leader. While this decision is unpleasant, it’s hard to really be too negative on this end about something that at least allows the hard-working crew to keep their jobs. (As per usual, the crew has been ignored with most of the “Community” discussion.)
As depressing as this memo is, it would also be ridiculous for us to sit here and say that this is the first time a studio has taken these precautions. You have to believe that Warner Bros. sent a similar memo to stars of “Two and a Half Men” after the Charlie Sheen fiasco, and AMC had to endure a similar crisis after Frank Darabont’s exit from “The Walking Dead.”
Can you blame Sony Pictures for doing this, and are you still holding out hope that “Community” season 4 could still be good?