Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim has declined to renew Million Dollar Extreme Presents: World Peace this week, the programming block has confirmed to Splitsider. This decision comes after internal pressure from Adult Swim employees alarmed by creator Sam Hyde’s actions.
Hyde, a comedian who has found popularity online, has used American white nationalist imagery and references on Million Dollar Extreme. He is also associated with the Twitter community of white American nationalists who go by the label of the “alt-right.”
Adult Swim has generated a lot of news this fall that wasn’t simply about the shows on its lineup. The block’s creative director, Mike Lazzo, took to Reddit in October to defend himself from accusations made by former employees that Adult Swim maintains a hostile work environment for women — and to defend the fact that of the 47 creators with shows on Adult Swim this past season, none were women. In his response, he both aggressively insisted that he was one of the most “accessible” executives at Cartoon Network and that he did not think that women were suited to be comedy writers.
Six weeks later, comedian Brett Gelman (Dinner with Friends with Brett Gelman and Friends) severed ties with the network, citing Lazzo’s attitude towards female comedians and show creators as impetus for his departure. And soon after, Buzzfeed published an article in which Adult Swim employees spoke anonymously about the significant internal pressure building against “anti-comedy” sketch show Million Dollar Extreme Presents: World Peace’s possible renewal.
According Buzzfeed’s sources, Sam Hyde’s connections and casual interactions with white nationalist trolls on Twitter had not gone unnoticed by Adult Swim employees, nor had the show’s appeal in or references to that community. According to Buzzfeed, “the Adult Swim standards department repeatedly found coded racist messages in the show, including swastikas, which were removed ahead of broadcast.”
That internal pressure appears to have paid off. Million Dollar Extreme Presents: World Peace aired its sixth and now final episode on Sept. 16.