Rick And Morty’s Dan Harmon And Jessica Gao Have Their Own Podcast, And It’s Awesome
So Rick and Morty has had a pretty crazy year.
Firstly there was that intense backlash from fans because the writers hired women *intense eye roll*, then there was that weird Szechuan sauce fiasco, and then the whole ‘Is the season really over yet?’ debacle.
Amidst all this, Dan Harmon that along with co-writer Jessica Gao, he's going to end racism in Hollywood (well, try).
Care to explain, we hear you ask? Take a seat.
If you didn’t know, the first two seasons of Rick and Morty had 0 female writers. Shocked? You shouldn’t be. This kind of happens a lot (you can watch Jessica Gao, co-writer of Rick and Morty, discussing her experience in the past).
But for Season three, that all changed. Harmon and Roiland hired four brilliant new female writers, making the writing room 50/50 men and women (as it should be).
Amongst these writers was Jessica Gao, who was previously Robot Chicken’s first female writer. She should also be credited for her ingenious work on the Pickle Rick episode (yeah, she wrote that, like one of the best episodes ever. PICKLE RICKKKKKK).
When working on the episode, she created the character of Doctor Wong. You remember her right? The badass therapist who calls Rick out for treating his family like sh!t and not putting the work in. We loved her.
Anyway, when creating the character she talked with Harmon about representation in Hollywood and how if she didn’t name her ‘Doctor Wong’, and the name didn’t “specifically connote someone of colour, they’re gonna be cast as a white character.”
Harmon agreed. Gao knows the value of equal representation:
“The thing about representation is it’s important because if you’re a white person who grew up in America, you don’t have the experience of knowing what it’s like growing up and never seeing someone who looks like you on TV. And that has an impact on your development and how you see yourself in Society.
Other kids will be like ‘You can’t be Superman’ or ‘You can’t be Wonder Woman’, because you don’t look like them.”
When Gao and Harmon were discussing the character of Doctor Wong, it led to a discussion of race and writing, then the idea for a podcast orginated:
While making #PickleRick we started talking about Dr. Wong and Asian/POC representation on TV. Then we jokingly said it should be a podcast
— Jessica Gao (@ChairmanGao) October 20, 2017
But don’t worry, Harmon is fully aware of the irony of a white person talking about race:
“I think it’s as silly as you do listening to myself talk about race.
I’m looking forward to the opportunity to just talk about the sh!t that in other context, people just start to cringe, and they look at the floor, and they don’t want you to talk about it, especially if you are white.”
The first podcast immediately opens with the pair joking that “if you don’t like it, you’re racist” and quickly hovering over the topic of a “Nazi president” being the result of people pretending that race doesn’t exist, which Harmon believes doesn’t work to solve the problem of racism in America and the world. #TrueDat
But throughout the podcast, the pair discuss a number of problems. One of them being how people have yet to understand how important and representation is. Gao explained it like this:
“It might seem really insignificant to most people - and by most people I mean white people - but because there are so few roles for any actor of colour, it means so much more when a character or role like that is gone.”
“It’s like one hundred percent of that episode and that seasons Asian roles is out the window.”
Harmon and Gao discuss the issue in depth, with Gao making the contents of the podcast clear:
“An honest conversation between two people who think very highly of themselves.”
And Harmon details:
“We’re just gonna be all over the f*cking map.”
We are SUPER huge fans of the podcast already. There are seven so far and each run from between an hour to an hour and a half, filled with heated discussions and analysis of race and writing in the world today.
These are conversations between two writers who respect each other but don’t always understand the other’s perspective.
— Jessica Gao (@ChairmanGao) October 20, 2017
Don’t forget you can catch Rick and Morty on Comedy Central every Friday at 10:30pm.
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