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They say that there are three sides to every story: your side, their side and the truth. Depending on where your heart is with NBC's beloved but lowly ranked Community show, maybe your truth lies with the story being told by its recently fired creator, Dan Harmon.
The network is calling Harmon's change of title from showrunner/executive producer to consulting producer a creative move. Over on Harmon's Tumblr blog, he's calling it by a different word...actually, several words and they all pretty much line up under the definition of being fired.
"You may have read that I am technically 'signed on,' by default, to be an executive consulting something or other - which is a relatively standard protective clause for a creator in my position," said Harmon. "Guys like me can’t actually just be shot and left in a ditch by Skynet, we’re still allowed to have a title on the things we create and 'help out,' like, I guess sharpening pencils and stuff."
Harmon is pretty unguarded in what he says on Tumblr, calling it the way he sees his dismissal and the story that NBC is issuing. In Hollywood, that kind of talk from a creative is practically unheard of except in the case of Harmon, who has a long track record of marching to his own drum. Just two months ago Harmon leaked an unflattering voice mail recording that Community co-star Chevy Chase left on his phone. Afterward, Harmon reportedly made some wisecracks at the expense of Chase's supposed abrasive personality.
So why is Dan Harmon committing what could be career suicide?
"When I was a kid, sometimes I’d run home to Mommy with a bloody nose and say, 'Mom, my friends beat me up,' and my Mom would say 'well then they’re not worth having as friends, are they?'" he told his readers on Tumblr. " At the time, I figured she was just trying to put a postive spin on having birthed an unpopular pussy. But this is, after all, the same lady that bought me my first typewriter. Then later, a Commodore 64. And later, a 300 baud modem for it. Through which I met new friends that did like me much, much more.
"I’m 39, now. The friends my Mom warned me about are bigger now, and older, bloodying my nose with old world numbers, and old world tactics, like, oh, I don’t know, sending out press releases to TV Guide at 7pm on a Friday.
"But my Commodore 64 is mobile now, like yours, and the modems are invisible, and the internet is the air all around us. And the good friends, the real friends, are finding each other, and connecting with each other, and my Mom is turning out to be more right than ever."
Community has been brought back by NBC for its fourth season and 13 episodes.
[Photo credit: Gage Skidmore @ Flickr.]
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