Sony Attempts to Brainwash the Cast of Community

Community’s studio, Sony, sent a memo to its cast — most of whom had already gone on Twitter-record explaining exactly how pissed off they were — providing them with sample answers for how to respond to interview questions about Dan Harmon’s dismissal as showrunner. This, as far as I can tell, is actually real. Via THR:

Since we know that cast members have interviews coming up this week, I wanted to forward some messaging we hope our cast will find helpful as they navigate questions that will undoubtedly come up. I know that [new showrunners] David and Moses are reaching out to them all directly but I’ve also heard from some of the actors that they’d like some guidance on the topic. [Editor's note: Who? Who asked for guidance?!]

Why did Dan get let go from the show?
We’re not made aware of why staffing changes take place but I will always be grateful to Dan for his great work on the show and wish him only the best. We’re also excited that we’ll be back on NBC’s schedule in the fall and are looking forward to working on those episodes.

Were you aware that Dan was going to be let go?
No, that’s not something we’re consulted on. I’m sad to see him go but I am looking forward to starting our next 13 episodes of Community.

Did the studio or network consult with you about these changes?
No they didn’t but we’re looking forward to working with David Guarascio & Moses Port on a new season of Community.

What are their plans for the new season?
It’s a little early to say at this point but we’re looking forward to the stories our characters will find themselves in come Sept.

Really, Anonymous Sony Executive? This is the best you could do? You have esteemed actors at your disposal. You could make ‘em sing and dance a little bit. Don’t you ultimately want to come off as the good guy, Anonymous Sony Executive? Wouldn’t you mind having everyone agree that Dan Harmon was a screw-up who had to be fired for the good of the show, for the good of the studio, for the good of the network, for the good of all television ever, Anonymous Sony Executive? To that end, I took the liberty of whipping up some alternate, harder-hitting “messaging” for you. Enjoy.

Why did Dan get let go from the show?
For his insolence. Dan Harmon did not appreciate the opportunity he was given. He had to be made an example of.

Were you aware that Dan was going to be let go?
Aware? I’d been begging them to fire Dan Harmon for years! Oh, Dan, great, another reference to a little-known pop culture product you’ve used to fill the empty spaces in your heart! I was being sarcastic just now, in case you couldn’t tell.

Did the studio or network consult with you about these changes?
They tried to consult with me but then I just started laughing and laughing. Like, come on bros, I know you’re geniuses, I know you got this all figured out. Then we high-fived and when they walked away I died a little inside.

What are their plans for the new season?
We’re going to de-Harmon-ize the hell out of this place. No 8-bit video game homages, no evil alternate timelines, nothing that wouldn’t actually happen in an actual goddamn community college. By the time we’re done, you’re going to — get this — actually understand our jokes.

Somewhere, Chevy Chase is quietly nodding to himself.

Filed Under: Community, Dan Harmon, NBC, Remedial Succession Politics

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Amos Barshad has written for New York magazine, Spin, GQ, XXL, and the Arkansas Times. He is a staff writer for Grantland.

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