Easily the most controversial show in the history of Adult Swim, Million Dollar Extreme Presents World Peace has been cancelled. The show was hotly contested due to its affiliation with the "alt-right" movement. The network picked up the show from a web series simply known as "Million Dollar Extreme" and aired its six (and only) television episodes over the summer.
Since it first aired, it's been the source of multiple controversies. Earlier this year, Buzzfeed reported that a neo-Nazi group disseminated antisemitic materials through a Kinko's hack. While the stunt was not directly endorsed by the MDE's notorious leader Sam Hyde, the materials praised Hyde and his show.
Further, comedian Brett Gelman left Adult Swim earlier this year, citing the network's lack of female voices and their perceived endorsement of MDE's alt-right views.
Of Adult Swim leader Mike Lazzo, an insider source told Buzzfeed, "I don't think he's down with the alt-right.... I think he's a left-leaning guy. But when he sees someone pushing buttons — he's very anti-establishment — his instinct is that he's doing something right."
Over on Reddit, Adult Swim director of programming Kim Manning added her own two cents in defense of the show. She pointed out that the network was impressed by a TED Talk prank that Hyde completed in 2013. Here's her statement [via Splitsider]:
What can I say? MDE is a source of HOT, HOT debate around the office. To be fair, I don't know of a single alt-right sympathizer at Williams St, most of us at least lean more extreme left. (I gleefully wore a pantsuit all day on Tuesday, champagne ready, and am still crying, wearing my safety pin, googling what to do next.)
So… you can imagine how I feel about the issue but… I just will say it's a source of HOT, HOT debate at Williams St, and it has been for a long time.
Look, we made the Gelman specials, and we made Tim and Eric, and we made The Boondocks – when we've let our programming have a political point of view, it's always leaned more to the left. This was about letting a different point of view, a voice that was upending things in a crazy, new, way, have a shot. That TED talk was funny. If you watch the show we produced, it's not an alt-right speak piece. I realize that social media is a totally different story. We argue about it a lot around the office. That's all I can really say.