Just days after Rick and Morty co-creator Dan Harmon was exposed for developing a cartoon lampooning the rape of babies, Harmon’s creative partner is now facing a backlash of his own for tweeting a nude drawing of the president’s 11-year-old son, Barron.
In 2017, Justin Roiland, known for voicing both of the animated series’ eponymous characters, tweeted an image depicting Barron wearing nothing but a shirt and virtual reality goggles as President Donald Trump stands behind him with an arm on his shoulder. Famous cartoon fathers Homer Simpson and Peter Griffin appear in the background of the hand-sketched picture and are busy devouring Smurfs.
Take a look at the now-deleted tweet:
Although Garfield creator Jim Davis’ name appears under the drawing, and the cartoon appears to be in the style of his comic strips, it is unclear if the cartoonist actually rendered the image. Davis has said before that he doesn’t want his work associated with politics because “people go to comics to have a laugh and have a break… away from the real news and real world that are often depressing.”
A caption appearing on both the original cartoon and Roiland’s tweet also provides little insight into the artist’s identity, reading: “Donald trump forcing baron [sic] to play VR [virtual reality], while [H]omer and Peter eat [S]murfs nearby.”
Roiland tagged voice actor and fellow animator Zach Hadel’s Twitter account “@psychicpebble” in his caption, as well, although it is unclear if Roiland is attributing the tweet to Hadel or simply bringing it to his colleague’s attention. Based on the moderate tone of his social media posts, Hadel does not appear to be a consistent critic of the Trump administration.
Million dollar question
According to media sources who claim to have seen the tweet before Roiland took it down, Minecraft creator Markus Persson was one of the first to comment on the vulgar cartoon, asking: “so.. uh… why isn’t baron.. wearing.. uh.. pants?”
While Roiland couldn’t be bothered to respond, he did answer a recent inquiry from a fan who was concerned over the mental well-being of his colleague, Harmon, after a 2009 video resurfaced showing the comedian pretending to rape a baby doll. The Rick and Morty superfan was “really worried” that Harmon “might do something stupid.
Dan is okay. Promise.
— Justin Roiland (@JustinRoiland) July 23, 2018
In his self-described “controversial” video, which was previously featured on Harmon’s website, Channel 101, the comedian attempted to spoof the Showtime serial-killer mini-series Dexter with a pilot called “Daryl.” Harmon played a therapist who raped infants belonging to his patients.
“I rape babies,” Harmon said while looking directly into the camera. His character is seen breaking into a house and repeatedly rubbing his genitals over a baby doll, afterward claiming that he can prevent people from becoming serial killers by raping them.
While Adult Swim — the name for Cartoon Network’s nighttime block of popular adult-themed animated programs — condemned Harmon’s video, the network wrote that “we seek out and encourage creative freedom and look to push the envelope in many ways.” Harmon, meanwhile, wrote that his video “was way too distasteful” and took the video down soon after.
But Harmon appears to share his co-creator’s distaste for the president’s son. In early 2017, when SNL writer Katie Rich was fired for tweeting that Barron Trump “will be this country’s first homeschool shooter,” Harmon responded with a sympathetic tweet of his own.
“Aaaaaaaand hired,” he wrote, offering the disgraced comedian a first class ticket to meet with studio executives and a job on Rick and Morty despite the controversy surrounding her.
He explained his creative philosophy: “I would tolerate all jokes. I do tolerate all jokes. And so do you. Because we have not lost our [censored] [censored] [censored] minds.”