Earlier this year comedy writer Megan Ganz had an interesting Twitter discussion with former boss Dan Harmon about how he treated her while working together on Community. Ganz didn’t level any specific accusations, but Harmon readily admitted that he acted inappropriately towards her and that it was an abuse of his position. Harmon’s now come forth with an explanation of his behavior towards Ganz on an episode of his podcast Harmontown that was released yesterday.
As Rolling Stone’s Jon Blistein reports, Harmon’s discussion about Ganz starts at about the 18:40 mark in the episode. Harmon admits to developing unrequited romantic feelings for Ganz, despite already having a girlfriend, and that those feelings created an uncomfortable atmosphere in the office for both Ganz and other staffers. As he says on the episode, “The most clinical way I can put it in fessing up to my crimes is that I was attracted to a writer I had power over because I was a showrunner and I knew enough to know that these feelings were bad news.”
Ganz told Harmon that his behavior made her uncomfortable multiple times, and apparently that didn’t lead him to alter his actions around her. When she rebuked him after he told her he loved her, he admits to becoming cruel towards her. “I crushed on her and resented her for not reciprocating it,” he says, “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, and said horrible things. Just treated her cruelly, pointedly, things I would never, ever would have done if she had been male and if I had never had those feelings for her.”
There’s no indication that this was a pattern of behavior with Harmon. All we know for now is that it was one inappropriate infatuation that unethically poisoned the work environment for a woman during her big break into writing for television. Harmon’s unprofessional and eventually malicious actions are pathetic and contemptible however you look at them.
In response to Harmon’s podcast, Ganz sent out a series of tweets where she called it “a masterclass in How to Apologize” where he gives a full, accurate accounting of what happened.
You can listen to Harmon’s podcast here and read Blistein’s more detailed account in Rolling Stone here.