After engaging in a Twitter conversation with a former writer on Community, Dan Harmon has delivered a long, searching apology for his harassment of her, which she accepted and shared as an example of how to make things right. Earlier this month, the Community creator apologized to Megan Ganz, a writer on the show, for being “an awful boss and selfish baby” while running the show. By way of apology, Harmon later went into great detail on an episode of his podcast, describing how he pursued and harassed Ganz while they worked together. In the episode, starting about 18-and-a-half minutes in, Harmon describes feeling attracted to Ganz, who worked for him while he had a girlfriend, and refusing to confront his feelings. Eventually, he broke up with his girlfriend, and declared his love for Ganz, who both did not reciprocate and said his attention made it impossible to do her job well. After which, Harmon describes acting more resentful and vindictive toward Ganz, undermining her as a writer, and damaging his show in the process.
“I lost my job. I ruined my show. I betrayed the audience. I destroyed everything, and I damaged her internal compass,” Harmon added. “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.”
“I did it by not thinking about it, and I got away with it by not thinking about it. If she hadn’t mentioned something on Twitter, I would have continued to not have to think about it,” he said. He later noted, “If you don’t think about it, you’re going to get away with not thinking about it, and you can cause a lot of damage that is technically legal, and hurts everybody.”
In response to Harmon’s extended apology, Ganz shared the podcast episode on Twitter and held it up as an example of how to try to set things right. “I find myself in the odd position of having requested an apology publicly, and then having received one — a good one — also publicly,” she tweeted. “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.”
“What I didn’t expect was the relief I’d feel just hearing him say these things actually happened,” Ganz added. “I didn’t dream it. I’m not crazy. Ironic that the only person who could give me that comfort is the one person I’d never ask.” She concluded by accepting Harmon’s apology, and forgiving him.