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The video resurfaced in 2018 and sparked backlash against Harmon on social media, leading him to delete his Twitter account. He said this at the time:
“In 2009 I produced a ‘pilot’ who tried to parody the ‘Dexter’ series and only succeeded in offending. I quickly realized that the content was way too distasteful and immediately removed the video. No one should ever have to see what you saw. and for that, I sincerely apologize. ”
Cartoon Network, which broadcasts “Rick and Morty”, stood alongside Harmon while denouncing the video.
The clip was circulating again this week. On Twitter it was often posted with #SaveTheChildren. This hashtag was first used to raise funds for the Save the Children charity, but as the New York Times reported on Wednesday, it was recently co-opted by QAnon followers. Facebook briefly disabled the hashtag after being inundated with pro-QAnon content.
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For the uninitiated, QAnon is a sprawling conspiracy theory that has rapidly gained momentum since the final months of 2017. Its core tenets center on the belief in a global cabal of elite pedophiles who rule the world, including Hillary Clinton and Hollywood notables. They believe President Donald Trump is trying to expose the actions of this group.
While QAnon has many dedicated followers, it’s likely that many people posting the Harmon video alongside #SaveTheChildren are unaware that they are reinforcing one of the hashtags of the movement. As the Times reported, prominent fitness bloggers and influencers have started posting anti-trafficking memes with the hashtag.
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But some people posting on Harmon definitely follow QAnon. In fact, some adherents have been discussing Harmon and “Rick and Morty” in the context of alleged Hollywood pedophilia for two years. A Twitter user posted screenshots of the video in July 2018 alongside #QAnon and #Pizzagate.