The circumstances of Dan Harmon's removal as Community's showrunner are emerging, and they're not pretty. Harmon's version of events, which he shared late last night on his Tumblr, explains that he learned about Sony's controversial decision about the same way we did.
Unsurprisingly, Harmon can only speculate as to why he was fired.
Why'd Sony want me gone? I can't answer that because I've been in as much contact with them as you have. They literally haven't called me since the season four pickup, so their reasons for replacing me are clearly none of my business. Community is their property, I only own ten percent of it, and I kind of don't want to hear what their complaints are because I'm sure it would hurt my feelings even more now that I'd be listening for free.
He does, however, clear up some points of contention.
First, although Harmon is still a consulting producer, that's the result of a "relatively standard protection clause" for a show creator. If he were to continue showing up on the Community set, he would have no creative control. He could not comment on or rewrite scripts, pitch jokes, or contribute to editing the finished product. He could, Harmon points out, "I guess [sharpen] pencils and stuff."
Harmon also takes issue with NBC head Bob Greenblatt's assertion that he was sure Harmon would remain involved in Community.
That's a misquote. I think he meant to say he's sure cookies are yummy, because he's never called me once in the entire duration of his employment at NBC.
Nor was Harmon called when his employment was terminated. He insists that he didn't quit or agree to a diminished role, because there were never any negotiations that he was part of. "It couldn't be less true," Harmon writes, "because, just to make this clear, literally nobody called me."
Harmon's bitterness is clear — and it's tough to blame him. NBC announced his firing on a Friday evening, a move likely calculated to avoid as much backlash from diehard Community fans as possible. "The friends my Mom warned me about are bigger now, and older, bloodying my nose with old world numbers, and old world tactics," Harmon writes.
[Image via AP]