“Rick and Morty” creator Justin Roiland has had domestic violence charges dating back to a 2020 incident dismissed.
The Orange County District Attorney’s office officially dropped felony charges against Roiland, after Adult Swim and Hulu cut ties with the showrunner in January 2023. “We dismissed the charges today as a result of having insufficient evidence to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt,” Kimberly Edds, spokeswoman for the Orange County District Attorney’s office, said in a statement shared with press.
Roiland took to social media to announce that “justice” has been served.
Roiland wrote that he is “thankful the case has been dismissed,” adding, “I’m still deeply shaken by the horrible lies that were reported about me during this process. Most of all, I’m disappointed that so many people were so quick to judge without knowing the facts, based solely on the word of an embittered ex trying to bypass due process and have me ‘canceled.'”
He added, “That it may have succeeded, even partially, is shameful. However, now that the legal case has ended, I’m determined to move forward and focus both on my creative projects and restoring my good name.”
Roiland previously appeared in court in January 2023 for a pre-trial hearing after being charged with one felony count of domestic battery with corporal injury and one felony count of false imprisonment by menace, violence, fraud, and/or deceit. He pleaded not guilty to the charges in 2020. A second pre-trial hearing was reportedly scheduled for April 27.
Back in January, Roiland resigned from video game development banner Squanch Games, which he co-founded, after being dropped by Adult Swim.
Roiland co-created popular animated series “Rick and Morty” alongside Dan Harmon. Roiland voiced both of the show’s lead characters, scientist Rick Sanchez and his grandson Morty Smith.
A Hollywood Reporter exposé included disturbing toxic workplace accusations against Roiland, as published in February 2023. Former Mad magazine editor Allie Goertz and writer of an upcoming “Rick & Morty” concept album shared that Roiland direct-messaged her asking, “Can you write a song about 9 Dick’s of different sized and ethnic origins hanging above your face, and then in the lyrics describe how they each splatter you with semen [?].” Roiland additionally allegedly sent pornographic GIFs and propositioned her.
Goertz told THR, “I really think that he, in a lot of ways, took advantage of someone who couldn’t have been a bigger fan.”
Roiland allegedly wrote to another, then-underaged woman, who uploaded the exchange on Twitter, “You should just run away from home and go into sex slavery YOU FUCKING STUPID FAGGOT BITCH (!!!) (Jk).”
The “Rick & Morty” writers’ room allegedly saw similar behavior, welcoming famous fans of the show like Kanye West and porn star Riley Reid into the production offices and marking the rare occasion Roiland showed up to work.
After the first group of female writers were hired during Season 3 of the Adult Swim series, his behavior allegedly shifted. Multiple sources told THR that Roiland sent a female employee a “really creepy” text late at night, asking her to come to his home for an implied threesome with his partner. “She didn’t want to run it up the flagpole, and then it was just this really fucked-up, awkward thing,” a source said.
Roiland had a sexual harassment allegation against him by the end of the 2020 season, resulting in Cartoon Network conducting a formal investigation into his inappropriate behavior.
Roiland’s attorney T. Edward Welbourn told IndieWire in January that it is “hard to overstate how inaccurate the recent media coverage of this situation has been” in regard to Roiland’s pending felony domestic violence case.
“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,” Welbourn said. “We look forward to clearing Justin’s name and helping him move forward as swiftly as possible.”
— Justin Roiland (@JustinRoiland) March 22, 2023