Yesterday, comedy website Splitsider reported that Adult Swim had canceled Million Dollar Extreme: World Peace. The six-episode comedy series ran through the fall, and had been among the network’s more controversial offerings, given its viewpoint and its appeal among people who gather at “alt-right” corners of the Internet.
The show was the subject of internal debate at Adult Swim. When comedian Brett Gelman, who starred on the network’s Eagleheart, announced that he would no longer be working with Adult Swim because of the network’s treatment of female creators (namely, rarely employing them) and its decision to put Million Dollar Extreme on the air.
When Buzzfeed reported on Million Dollar Extreme‘s popularity with people who identify themselves as “alt-right,” they noted that Adult Swim’s own standards department found coded messages–including swastikas–that the network removed before the show would air.
The Splitsider report on Million Dollar Extreme‘s cancelation was vague in its details–it said that the network had “confirmed with us that the show will not return for another season,” but didn’t cite a source or offer any explanation for the cancellation. That may be because Adult Swim seems very reluctant to talk about Million Dollar Extreme or the decision to cancel the show. The network’s PR department declined a phone call with CoCreate to discuss it, and responded to an email request for confirmation that the show would not be returning and any details that they could provide about the decision with the words “confirmed” and “no further comment.”
It’s clear that Million Dollar Extreme doesn’t have a place on Adult Swim anymore, in other words, but it’s not at all clear where the network stands on the show’s alleged use of coded messages or the viewpoints expressed by its creator. That’s noteworthy, as the decision to cancel Million Dollar Extreme comes at a time when a number of brands are being put in a position where they have to determine what their values are, in terms of who they choose to work with. New Balance was declared “the official shoes of white people” by people who identify as “alt-right,” after the company expressed support for Donald Trump in November. (It later issued a longer statement expressing its core values.) Kellogg, meanwhile, decided that its company values didn’t allow it to advertise on Breitbart, the “platform for the alt-right” news organization whose former head is now a senior policy advisor to Donald Trump. Adult Swim made the move to disassociate with Million Dollar Extreme, but it’s interesting to see that it doesn’t want to talk about why–at a time when Tony the Tiger is rejecting the President-Elect’s chief strategist, it’s surprising that a network like Adult Swim doesn’t have anything to say about cutting ties with people who tried to sneak swastikas onto its broadcast.