With every public appearance Dan Harmon makes, the more can be gleaned about the circumstances surrounding his departure from the series he created, NBC’s “Community.” Though he made a keynote address at Seattle’s XOXO Festival in September, video of the address wasn’t available until last week. Those who could make it through the first 20 minutes of his rambling but still fascinating speech about Internet culture would have seen him directly address his falling out with Sony Pictures Television. Here’s what he had to say (skip to 24:19 in video above or go to this link):
“I really want to put forth the fact that I was fired for money. My contract was up. My right hand man, writer Chris McKenna’s
contract was up at the same time as the executive producers beneath me, Neil Goldman and Garrett Donovan’s contracts
were up. And one of my best writers, Megan Ganz’s contract was up. Sony was looking at a helluva negotiation for 13 final episdoes that NBC was burying on Friday at 8:30 p.m. Instead of either promoting or just killing, why not promote it? Why not just kill it? Money. And why for those final 13 episodes, why not
renegotiate a deal with someone who doesn’t have a contract, who created the
show, who’s indispensible? Money. It really had nothing to do with anything
No doubt Sony and and NBC have their own version of events. And Harmon himself prefaced his remarks by acknowledging, “When someone gets fired and they tell you why, you’re going to take it with a boulder sized grain of salt.” Still, it’s rare to get an unvarnished opinion from a TV creator who doesn’t shy away from telling it like it is (or how he sees it).