Have you ever wondered why it took so long for “Rick and Morty” season four to get greenlit?
Why that enormous deal to bring us 100 episodes of the show took so much effort to get right?
Dan Harmon has revealed a little about the negotiation process behind the scenes on this show, and it’s really fascinating.
According to Harmon, a large part of getting the right deal for the show was making sure that Adult Swim actually gave his team their due.
Apparently, despite the phenomenal popularity of “Rick and Morty”, the team wasn’t getting the resources and financial compensation they needed for their work. Thus, the show was being made around other, more lucrative projects, as a weird passion project rather than a method for the team to earn money to keep the lights on.
Weird, right? You’d think that if Harmon, Justin Roiland, and the rest of the “Rick and Morty” crew had made such a popular TV show, they’d be getting adequately compensated for it.
Turns out, nope. They’re having to fight tooth and nail to get a big enough piece of the pie to make “Rick and Morty” full time. It even sounds like this negotiation isn’t quite finished yet.
The Work-For-Hire Problem
According to GQ:
“Harmon and Roiland say they’re holding out for a contract that grants them immortality. Or, if immortality is unavailable, at least ‘many, many, many more seasons,’ and enough money so that, as Roiland says, Harmon ‘doesn’t have to take 12 other jobs while we’re working on season four’. That way, Harmon can give ‘Rick and Morty’ the full attention it deserves. To be able to follow his bliss, without taking on a dozen other tortures-for-hire.”
It seems that it’s the work-for-hire aspect of their contracts that Harmon and Roiland object to. This common practice within the entertainment industry means that they don’t quality for royalties on their own work. They get paid for each episode once, and that’s it.
That does feel pretty harsh considering how much effort and time the pair are putting into the show. While I can’t imagine that either of them are destitute, I can understand why other projects might be necessary to keep a constant stream of income flowing.
Better Pay Means Better “Rick and Morty”
In this circumstance, it’d be hard to find time for “Rick and Morty”, because the show is merely a passion project that’s lining someone else’s pockets.
So if it takes a while for us to get season four, know that it’s because Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon are fighting for the “immortality” the be able to earn money perpetually off their creation. Once they have this (but not before) they’ll be able to focus full-time on “Rick and Morty” without worrying about side projects that keep their bank balances healthy.
Also I should also point out that “Rick and Morty” season four could well take longer because Dan Harmon is purportedly not exactly the nicest guy to work for, especially if you’re a woman.
Allegations of harassment should not be brushed aside just because a cartoon show is funny.