Following allegations of domestic violence, Justin Roiland has been ousted from “Rick and Morty.”
Adult Swim is severing its partnership with the flagship series’ co-creator and star, who — yes, voices both Rick and Morty — and was charged earlier this month in Orange County, California on “one felony count of domestic battery with corporal injury and one felony count of false imprisonment by menace, violence, fraud and/or deceit,” per Variety.
On Tuesday, the adult programming block of Cartoon Network released a statement on Twitter announcing the co-creators’ ousting, as well as reassuring fans that the series (which received an outrageous 70 episode order in 2018) would continue.
“Adult Swim has ended its relationship with Justin Roiland,” the tweet reads. “‘Rick and Morty’ will continue. The talented and dedicated crew are hard at work on Season 7.”
— Rick and Morty (@RickandMorty) January 24, 2023
The charges against Roiland date to 2020 and an alleged incident that occurred “on or around January 19, 2020, against an unnamed Jane Doe who was dating Roiland at the time.” Roiland was reportedly released on a $50,000 bond on August 13, 2020, and was arraigned on October 14, 2020, also per Variety. He plead not guilty in 2020, and appeared in court on January 12, 2023 for a pre-trial hearing. No trial date has been set.
Roiland’s attorney T. Edward Welbourn described the public image of the case as “inaccurate” in a statement via The Hollywood Reporter. He continued, “To be clear, not only is Justin innocent but we also have every expectation that this matter is on course to be dismissed once the district attorney’s office has completed its methodical review of the evidence.”
Roiland has long been the creative powerhouse for “Rick and Morty,” with much of the Adult Swim brand built up around the comedy stylings of him and co-creator Dan Harmon, who admitted to sexual harassment in 2018. In addition to voicing the two main characters, which are expected to be recast, Roiland’s improvisation and vocalizations make up much of the sci-fi world in “Rick and Morty.” There have been no such announcements made by Hulu in regards to Roiland’s sister project, “Solar Opposites,” which features a similar style to “Rick and Morty” and was co-created with “Rick and Morty” writer Mike McMahan.