Adult Swim Meltdown – Brett Gelman Leaves

gelmanBrett Gelman has been a fixture on Adult Swim programming since 2007. No longer.

Dating back to Fat Guy Stuck in Internet, the Human Giant writer and improv star has been a voice actor, writer, and producer. Gelman’s name pops up in the credits of multiple Adult Swim shows each year. His best known work is the ever-popular Aqua Teen Hunger Force. Gelman also worked as a writing consultant for the second season of Hot Package. In that job, he produced three annual specials for the network.

Basically, he’s been a big part of Adult Swim’s content creation for a long time. Until this week, when he suddenly announced he was done via Twitter.

Gelman’s Reasons

Those annual specials (Dinner with Friends, Dinner with Family, and Dinner in America) each highlighted political and racial issues in America through the kind of big dopey lens that only an underground improv comic can provide.

His podcast, Gelmania on the Earwolf network, is similar. In Brett’s own words, the podcast is meant to “reflect a lot of the fears and anger and sadness of the world, but do that through a really stupid lens.”

That’s the sort of area where comedy excels. He dresses genuine social commentary in a cloak of silliness and fart jokes. By doing so, Gelman is able to inspire some actual thought. He gives the audience a lever with which to discuss sensitive problems. It’s more relevant today than ever.

Unfortunately, per Gelman and others, Adult Swim just isn’t having it.

Investigative Journalism

The tweets detail how the network has long suffered from a sexist corporate culture. According to Gelman and others, shows pitched by women aren’t taken seriously. Online news outlets have investigated the claims several times this year, and found them to be true.

According to The AV Club, Adult Swim had 47 shows in production as of June 2016. None of them were created by women.

In a BuzzFeed News article published in October, Ariane Lange dove into the creator credits of each of their shows. Across all jobs on the shows, only 1 in 34 were held by women. According to Lange, the national average is 1 in 5.

Responding to the article, Adult Swim executive Mike Lazzo later posted on Reddit that the reason for this is simply that “women don’t tend to like conflict.”

Hey, Adult Swim. That’s not denying the claim of sexism. That’s not even trying to excuse it. More like embracing it.

The last straw for Gelman appears to have been Adult Swim’s pickup of Sam Hyde’s animated sketch comedy Million Dollar Extreme Presents: World Peace.

Hyde has known ties to the alt-right movement, itself a big problem in the America of today. A short glance at his own Twitter is enough to prove the point. He spreads hate, and that’s all I want to say about him.

More Fallout

At the time of this writing, more showrunners appear to be dropping out of the network.

Brad Neely, creator and star of Brad Neely’s Harg Nallin’ Sclopio Peepio, tweeted that he was also ceasing his show.

We sent him a Tweet asking confirmation if it was due to Adult Swim’s policies. He didn’t directly respond, but he “liked” the Tweet.

What Should Adult Swim Fans Do

Adult Swim airs a lot of great programming. A lot.

The network isn’t a good force in the world right now, though, and they need to be told.

So, what can we, as fans of Rick and Morty, The Venture Bros., and Robot Chicken do?

Tell them how we feel!

Adult Swim is an organization that’s very in-touch with its audience. Lazzo made that evident by posting on Reddit just to respond to the BuzzFeed story.

In politics, posting online usually isn’t enough. However, this isn’t politics. It’s entertainment. Adult Swim is a business. Their customers are online, and so are they.

Dan Harmon, Seth Green, and the other showrunners are active in social media, as well. And I guarantee they are paying attention to this situation.

If you love their shows but hate the policies of the network, make yourself heard.

Social Media Accounts of Adult Swim Showrunners

This is a list of every piece of original programming currently produced by Adult Swim, and how to get through to the people in charge. Send them a brief, polite message. Tell them you’re a fan, and tell them you believe Adult Swim disenfranchises women.

Finally, stop spending money on their shows. Until this is resolved, don’t buy them on Amazon. Don’t watch them on TV if you’re a Nielson family. Don’t give them YouTube views. It sucks to lose access to some of the best animated programming on the air. However, if you believe this is worth fighting for, then it’s worth sacrificing for.

Black Jesus

Check It Out! With Dr. Steve Brule

  • Twitter: @john_c_reilly, @timheidecker, @ericwareheim

Daytime Fighting League

Decker: Unclassified

Dream Corp, LLC

The Eric Andre Show



Mike Tyson Mysteries

Million Dollar Extreme Presents: World Peace

You know what, never mind.

Mr. Pickles

  • Twitter: @snaketar

Neon Joe, Werewolf Hunter

Rick and Morty

Robot Chicken


Tim & Eric’s Bedtime Stories

  • Twitter: @timheidecker, @ericwareheim

The Venture Bros.

  • Twitter: @jacksonpublick, @thedochammer

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