Three weeks after Brett Gelman announced that he was severing ties with Adult Swim due to their treatment of women and their promotion of the “alt-right” comedians and fans behind their new show Million Dollar Extreme, the network has finally responded in the form of a cancellation, confirming with us that the show – which aired its six-episode debut season over the summer – will not return for another season.
Prior to the cancellation, Buzzfeed spoke with some Adult Swim staffers last month who claimed that many insiders at the network have been lobbying to get the show off the air:
According to one source with knowledge of the network’s operations, it’s likely that Lazzo is already aware of the show’s solicitations of the alt-right. The same source said that the Adult Swim standards department repeatedly found coded racist messages in the show, including swastikas, which were removed ahead of broadcast. None of this was enough, according to one of the sources, to convince Lazzo not to air the show. “Lazzo makes every decision there. A lot of people at Adult Swim have been on him, trying to get it not renewed,” said the source. “I know at least one person who is very high up there who was furious about it before it came out.”
Adult Swim’s senior director of programming Kim Manning confirmed this when she took to Reddit to defend EVP/creative director Mike Lazzo after Brett Gelman left the network and responded to a comment about Million Dollar Extreme with this:
What can I say? MDE is a source of HOT, HOT debate around the office. To be fair, I don’t know of a single alt-right sympathizer at Williams St, most of us at least lean more extreme left. (I gleefully wore a pantsuit all day on Tuesday, champagne ready, and am still crying, wearing my safety pin, googling what to do next.) So… you can imagine how I feel about the issue but… I just will say it’s a source of HOT, HOT debate at Williams St, and it has been for a long time. Look, we made the Gelman specials, and we made Tim and Eric, and we made The Boondocks - when we’ve let our programming have a political point of view, it’s always leaned more to the left. This was about letting a different point of view, a voice that was upending things in a crazy, new, way, have a shot. That TED talk was funny. If you watch the show we produced, it’s not an alt-right speak piece. I realize that social media is a totally different story. We argue about it a lot around the office. That’s all I can really say.
To be fair, Adult Swim hasn’t actively promoted the show very much since August, having uploaded just one, minute-long clip from the show to their YouTube page since its premiere. In any case, between Gelman and MDE there are now at least two empty slots available at the network – fingers crossed they give at least one of them to a woman for a change.