NBC’s ‘Community’ season 5: Dan Harmon issues sort-of apology over comments

CommunityOnly a matter of weeks now after getting re-hired by “Community,” Dan Harmon has managed to achieve the very rare feat of managing to get his foot jammed so far into his mouth that he’s going to have a hard time pulling it out. Why? It’s all for some of his pretty harsh comments that he made about the show’s fourth season while making a Harmontown podcast over the weekend. The biggest problem that we see is not necessarily that they disliked his opinion, given that everyone has their own opinion, but he went to drastic measures to take it clear.

In some ways, what you could see this as is the classic case of the perception of comedy. When these comments were initially said, they were made with the intent of drawing a particular reaction in a pro-Harmon room. When they are released to the public, they are met with the reaction of those who find him a self-aggrandizing blowhard, or someone who continues to make it hard for new people to get behind him or his show by insulting the people who worked on the show last year by dissing it so much.

As a result of the backlash, Harmon tweeted out two messages today that you could take as either an apology for his remarks, or a simple explanation that the quotes in the press misrepresent his viewpoint:

“I feel bad if I made anyone feel bad with my comments in harmontown. It’s a dirty, personal comedy podcast, not charismatic for quoting. I like making stuff that pleases people, I like being honest about my feelings but I hate hurting other people, especially community fans.”

The issue that Harmon is really facing at this moment is that thanks to social media and the digital age, he really can’t have it both ways where he can be honest, and also not incite some sort of reaction from his fans. In holding his podcast and making it available to the masses the next day, he is allowing such criticism to come in. If he wants to ensure that his words are interpreted in his desired manner (which he seems to want), then the best solution would be to either be cautious when choosing what to say, or not offering up a podcast to the public.

Or, here’s a more contrarian point of view: We don’t agree with every one of Harmon’s opinions, but enjoy the show. So why not just make an amazing product this year, and have that speak for itself when it comes to your genius onscreen? Or, why not talk more about what you’re going to do to make something right rather than emphasize what went wrong?

We just want to see “Community” get to six seasons in a movie, and at this point, Harmon’s alienation of non-fans and in some ways the industry is not going to make it easy for his show to get there.

Photo: NBC

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