On Twitter this morning, comedy writer Megan Ganz told Dan Harmon that she is willing to forgive him for the harassment and abuse she suffered while working for him on NBC’s Community.
Ganz responding after listening to episode of Harmon’s podcast Harmontown, where he confessed to the abuse and explained it in detail. That confession came after Harmon had tweeted a vague New Year’s resolution promising to become “not an asshole” in 2018 and Ganz responded by asking for a more specific apology.
“I certainly wouldn’t have been able to do it if I had any respect for women.”
The latest episode of Harmontown, published yesterday, does not include any mention of Ganz or of Harmon’s admission in its description, but the relevant clip begins around the 18:30 mark, where Harmon states:
“I was attracted to a writer that I had power over because I was a showrunner. I knew enough to know that these feelings were bad news. That was easy enough to know. I knew that they ran the risk of undercutting people’s faith in my judgement, her faith in her talent, the other writer’s respect for me, the entire production, the audience. I knew that I wasn’t doing anybody any favors by feeling these things.
I drank, I took pills, I crushed on her and resented her for not reciprocating it. And the entire time I was the one writing her paychecks and in control of whether she stayed or went, and whether she felt good about herself or not. I said horrible things, just treated her cruelly, pointedly. Things I would’ve never ever done if she had been male or if I didn’t have those feelings for her. I lost my job. I ruined my show. I betrayed the audience. I destroyed everything, and I damaged her internal compass.
I moved on, and I never did it before and I’ll never do it again, but I certainly wouldn’t have been able to do it if I had any respect for women. On a fundamental level, I was thinking about them as different creatures. I was thinking about the ones that I liked as having some special role in my life. I did it all by not thinking about it.”
Ganz left Community before its cancellation in 2014, joining the writing staff of Modern Family in 2013 and then moving on to It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia in 2016.
Accepting Harmon’s apology on Twitter, she called it “a masterclass in How to Apologize.” In contrast to many of the half-hearted or non-apologies offered by other men in recent months, she found Harmon’s mea culpa worthy of forgiveness because “he’s not rationalizing or justifying or making excuses. He doesn’t just vaguely acknowledge some general wrongdoing in the past. He gives a full account.”