Million Dollar Extreme Presents: World Peace
|Million Dollar Extreme Presents: World Peace|
|Created by||Million Dollar Extreme|
|Directed by||Andrew Ruse|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||6|
|Production location(s)||Atlanta, Georgia|
|Running time||11 minutes|
|Original network||Adult Swim|
|Original release||August 5 –|
September 16, 2016
Million Dollar Extreme Presents: World Peace is an American post-ironic comedy television series starring sketch comedy group Million Dollar Extreme, which premiered on Adult Swim on August 5, 2016. On December 5, 2016, the show was canceled.
Each episode of Million Dollar Extreme Presents: World Peace was eleven minutes long, and starred Million Dollar Extreme troupe leader Sam Hyde and frequent collaborators Nick Rochefort and Charls Carroll. Erick Hayden, another MDE sketch collaborator, also appeared in four episodes in an "also starring" role. Andrew Ruse, who worked with the troupe in the past, directed the series in addition to serving as writer and executive producer alongside Sam, Nick and Charls.
The show claimed to be set in a post-apocalyptic nightmare world that satirizes the current political climate. Each episode was made up of multiple sketches, connected by hyper stylized transitional graphics. The end of each episode featured a musical guest, albeit due to time constraints, the entire song was never performed.
On May 7, 2015, it was announced that Adult Swim had ordered an untitled pilot by Million Dollar Extreme described as a "sketch show ... set in an almost present-day post-apocalyptic nightmare world". Based on that pilot, it was announced on March 3, 2016, that it would go to series with the group presenting it under the additional subtitle World Peace, and the first season consisting of six episodes under the network's traditional eleven-minute episode structure. The show was produced in-house by Rent Now Productions, Inc., and shot in Atlanta, Georgia. The show additionally benefitted from the Georgia production tax credit.
As the show was being produced, internal conflicts arose at the show's production executive and marketing departments. According to an interview with Sam Hyde, conducted by YouTube documentarian Porsalin, the network's marketing department produced billboard proofs with over-the-top tag lines such as "World Peace is Racist, Hateful, and Takes No Prisoners." Hyde perceived this as an attempt to sabotage the marketing, forcing himself to reject the marketing team's ideas and resulting in no billboards for the series. Hyde also points out in the interview that network executives including Keith Crofford, Walter Newman, and Mark Costa were proud of the show, but Williams Street production staffer Valentina Tapia was fired from her position after a failed attempt to break into the show's editing suite to delete the show's footage. Hyde also claimed that he and his Million Dollar Extreme co-collaborators were confronted at an Adult Swim company party by an unidentified woman saying she was going to get them fired. Despite these staff issues, the show was set to premiere on August 5, 2016 at 12:15 AM.
In the week leading up to the series' premiere, the network began running promos for the show featuring select clips and sketches. The promo featured a red banner with the words "WORLD PEACE" on it, with a noticeable gap in the middle. This banner was created to censor the show's original logo, which contained a re-creation of the symbol drawn by mass shooter James Holmes in his notebooks. In the series itself, the symbol would be replaced with an overlay of the common peace symbol. The show used short transitional videos to shift from sketch-to-sketch, featuring hyper stylized graphics and large blocks of text, produced by Brooklyn based VFX company, Pomp&Clout. The show's on-air presentation actively and haphazardly censored these blocks of text in their entirety, with no discernible regard to the text itself. The text ranged from more controversial statements like "Build The Wall" to nonsensical descriptions like "Surefire BubbleButt." No reason was ever given by anyone at Adult Swim or Turner Broadcasting regarding the last minute censorship.
Fans took immediate notice of the censored content and took to the World Peace thread on imageboard 4chan to vent their frustrations. Afterwards, a man claiming to be Sam Hyde made a post to offer a defense and plea for fans to continue watching the show, but it was later confirmed by the real Sam Hyde that the 4chan poster was an imposter. At the same time, Hyde claimed that what the imposter wrote was more or less correct, and described them as a "weirdo stalker."
BuzzFeed News writer Joseph Bernstein was active in criticizing the show after a heated interview with its creator, Sam Hyde. He wrote that a source told him the network's standards departments repeatedly discovered and removed coded racist messages, including hidden swastikas. Sam denied these allegations in a YouTube response. In the same article, Adult Swim series creator Brett Gelman claimed that the show is "is an instrument of hate." Gelman would later cut ties with the network over Mike Lazzo's comments regarding women in the workplace, while also citing the network's greenlighting of World Peace as playing a significant part in the decision. Gelman's business collaborator, Tim Heidecker, also voiced his support for Gelman's decision to leave the network on Facebook. Adult Swim alumni Zandy Hartig and Vic Berger IV also voiced their sentiments against World Peace and Million Dollar Extreme on Twitter.
Adult Swim announced on December 5, 2016, that the show would not be renewed for a second season. The network faced internal opposition to its continuation, mainly regarding accusations of MDE's documented connections to the alt-right. According to Hyde, despite Adult Swim executives' apparent interest to pick up the show for a second season, Turner ultimately decided to cancel the show. Hyde also accused fellow Adult Swim comedian Tim Heidecker of being a critic of the show, and therefore being instrumental in its cancellation for a second season.
Following the cancellation, musicians whose work was featured on the show, including Molly Nilsson, Chastity Belt, Ovlov and 3TEETH, disavowed the show. All four acts made the common claim that they were unaware of Million Dollar Extreme's beliefs or political views prior to meeting them or viewing their work. John Maus would remain silent until a year later, where he told Pitchfork “I don’t want to make any apology, but I also didn’t want to.... The guys I met were nice. They weren’t burning crosses or doing anything like that.” Danny L. Harle was the only act to never publicly comment on the canceled sketch series.
|No.||Title||Original air date||Prod.|
|1||"Your Vibe Attracts Your Tribe"||August 5, 2016||105||1.033|
|2||"Illegal Broadcast: John Hell Emergency"||August 12, 2016||102||0.843|
|3||"3 Down 47 to Go Countdown to Mass Funeral"||August 19, 2016||103||0.874|
|4||"Mad at Dad? GOMAD for Chad MGTOW"||August 26, 2016||104||0.814|
|5||"Not Everyone Thinks You're a Hero"||September 9, 2016||101||0.763|
|6||"You Hate This Show Because You Hate Yourself"||September 16, 2016||106||1.053|
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- "3 Down 47 to Go Countdown to Mass Funeral". Million Dollar Extreme Presents: World Peace. Season One. Episode 103. August 19, 2016. Event occurs at 11:08. Adult Swim. Retrieved November 8, 2019.
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- Strauss, Matthew (October 12, 2017). "John Maus Speaks on Involvement With Canceled Alt-Right Adult Swim Show". Pitchfork. Retrieved November 8, 2019.
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- episodes 4 and 6 only
- executive producer for Williams Street