This was posted Tuesday, December 6, 2016 by Rodney Ho on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog
Atlanta-based Adult Swim has cancelled a controversial sketch comedy show that aired over the summer called “Million Dollar Extreme” that was created by someone critics consider is part of the “alt right” movement.
Six 15-minute episodes aired over the summer. A second season is not forthcoming.
Million Dollar Extreme is a comedy group whose most prominent member is Sam Hyde.
According to Atlantic magazine in a story from November 17, Hyde “crafts his comedy with the goal of shocking his young, liberal, Millennial audience while simultaneously appealing to like-minded members of a white-nationalist movement that generally supports Donald Trump.”
The writer Derek Thompson added, “Watching ‘Million Dollar Extreme’ sometimes feels like peering inside the mind of a far-right Twitter troll, as does looking at Hyde’s own feed.”
Buzzfeed’s tech writer Joe Bernstein noted in an extensive story in August about Hyde where on his Twitter feed he has called Lena Dunham a “fat pig,” mocked the Black Lives Matter movement and predicted the impending death of Hillary Clinton.
In various Reddit forums, Bernstein wrote that thousands of fans gathered each week “to decode ‘World Piece’s’ complex, if winking, symbology, which many devotees are convinced expresses an anti-progressive, pro-white ideology.” Three anonymous sources told Buzzfeed last month that they were trying to convince Adult Swim leader Mike Lazzo to cancel the show because of the its “dog whistles” to the “alt right” and the harassment they were getting from Hyde’s followers.
When the show debuted, Adult Swim on its website said ” ‘Million Dollar Presents: World Peace’ will unlock your closeted bigoted imagination, toss your inherent racism into the burning trash, and cleanse your intolerant spirit with pure unapologetic American funny_com.”
Buzzfeed noted backlash among Adult Swim stars. Last month, actor and comic Brett Gelman publicly cut ties with Adult Swim and told Buzzfeed: “The show is an instrument of hate.”
Tim Heidecker, who starred in the Adult Swim show “Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!” posted on Facebbok: “I love and respect my friend Brett Gelman and I support his decision fully.”
Adult Swim in August send Buzzfeed this statement defending the show:
“Adult Swim’s reputation and success with its audience has always been based on strong and unique comedic voices. Million Dollar Extreme’s comedy is known for being provocative with commentary on societal tropes, and though not a show for everyone, the company serves a multitude of audiences and supports the mission that is specific to Adult Swim and its fans.”
I am awaiting a comment from Adult Swim about the cancellation.