On Saturday, I posted a story about the feud between Community creator Dan Harmon and co-star Chevy Chase, which included a recording of a profanity-laced Chase voicemail to Harmon, which Harmon had played at a show he does at a comic book store. This afternoon, Harmon addressed the incident. In a blog post, which I’ve reposted in its entirety below, Harmon apologized to Community fans for playing the voicemail publicly without Chase’s consent, something he now calls “a dumb, unclassy, inconsiderate move on my part.” However, he doesn’t address the rift between the two or the action that allegedly prompted the voicemail, Harmon doing a “Fuck you, Chevy” speech at Community‘s wrap party last month in front of Chase, his wife and his daughter after Chase had walked off the set of the show without filming his scene.
Not That it Helps, But:
I’m really not supposed to be commenting on the situation, which I think is great advice, because anything I say will extend the story’s life and cause more fans discomfort. But as a guy who blogs or tweets every time he wipes his butt, hugs his cat or hurts his girlfriend, it’s conspicuously weird of me to say nothing at all about the giant fart with my name on it that you’ve been inhaling. It feels dishonest not to acknowledge it, it feels rude to the caring fans of the show, people who are tweeting me their concerns that I’ve jeopardized something they fight to protect, those are the sentiments that are [rightfully] the most painful because every choice I make, I try to make for the good of the show, and the show is not an expression of my ego or entitlement, it’s an expression of my desire to make strangers happy. When that’s not happening, when I’ve done something that hurts an audience, it’s always an accident. So I have to just acknowledge my mistake and apologize for it to the fans. Even the people that hate the show that are tweeting heckles at me are right, I’m a selfish baby and a rude asshole and not a person to trust with your feelings.
But the people that I really want to apologize to are the fans of the show. If you want to know what’s on my mind that I consider worth the attention of five million people, that’s the place to look, Thursdays at 8 on TV. Those are the stories and the jokes and observations about life and personal confessions that I intend for that large a venue. There is also a monthly show I do in the back of a comic book store in Los Angeles in which I say things that I intend for 150 people to hear. I tell stories about what an unlovable asshole I am and the trouble it causes for me. I rant and rave about the world’s failure to meet my standards, I talk about being drunk and stupid and heartbroken and childish and crazy and self-obsessed and self loathing and how much I love myself for it. The people that show up are paying ten dollars to listen to it, if you can believe that, and they made the drive out and put that cash on the barrel because they love or hate me but are fascinated by how much I fascinate myself – or their boyfriend made them go.
It was in that venue, months ago, that I made the horrible, childish, self-obsessed, unaware, naive and unprofessional decision to play someone’s voicemail to me. He didn’t intend for 150 people to listen and giggle at it, and I didn’t intend for millions of people to read angry reports about it. I was doing what I always do, and always get in trouble for doing, and always pay a steep price for doing. I was thinking about myself and I was thinking about making people laugh. I was airing my dirty laundry for a chuckle. I ask people at those shows repeatedly to please think twice about youtubing clips of it because it doesn’t play well outside the back of a comic book store. I always accept the risk that a well-intending fan will upload clips and something scandalous will break wide, but the giant mistake I made was involving someone else in that game of russian roulette, someone that didn’t have an opportunity to say “yeah, hilarious, let’s do this.” That was a dumb, unclassy, inconsiderate move on my part. I’m very sorry it’s reflecting poorly on the show.
It’s important to me that you not mistake this for someone thinking they’re making it better, or explaining that they’re actually a swell person. I’m explaining that you’re right, I’m a bonehead, and it sucks, it blows up in my face on a regular basis. I put an unhealthy amount of stock in the opinions of strangers, that’s exactly what makes me do stupid things, and, poetically, that’s what makes the punishment so effective. Thirty people a day calling me an asshole makes me know and feel, in my heart, that I am an asshole. I’m a real “customer is always right” kind of guy in that regard.
So, when you see me not talking about this, it’s not because I’m trying to get away with something, it’s because the more I say, the worse it gets. This is a topic that is driving ad sale revenue for a week but causing my favorite people in the world – Community fans – distress. So my desire, like yours, is to wait for it to pass. And don’t worry about the show. I agree with you that the show is what’s important. It’s why I get mad when I get mad. It’s why I’m happy when I’m happy. I will always do everything I can to make sure we get our six seasons and a move. I’m just really sorry that I’m so damn bad at that job in so many specific ways, and I promise you that every time I screw up at it, I try to get better.
Now I’ve got finish editing episode 319, and get politely scolded for commenting on the situation. If you’re reading this and you work in PR, I know, I know, I’m sorry and I’m not going to say any more.
And when have I ever let you guys down, right?