Adult Swim has cut ties with Rick and Morty co-creator just over a week after allegations of domestic abuse surfaced, according to The Hollywood Reporter. NBC News first reported on January 12 that Roiland was charged with one count of domestic battery with corporal injury and one count of false imprisonment by menace, violence, fraud or deceit in Orange County in 2020.
In a statement Tuesday, Adult Swim announced that its association with Justin Roiland ended and that they are in the process of recasting his voice roles. That will be easier said than done — the adult animated series is less than halfway through a 70-episode order placed by the network in 2018, and Roiland voices the two titular characters. No word yet on whether 20th Television Animation, which produces Roiland’s projects Solar Opposites and the newly premiered Koala Man, will also end its relationship with Roiland.
While Roiland will be out as showrunner and executive producer for future seasons of Rick and Morty, his co-creator credit will remain. And this ousting leaves co-creator Dan Harmon as the sole showrunner of the show moving forward. Harmon is no stranger to controversy — in 2018 former Community writer Megan Ganz accused him of sexually harassing her in the writer’s room. Directly after, Harmon issued a public apology to Ganz, which she publicly accepted in The New York Times.
There is still no release date for Season 7 of Rick and Morty, though it’s likely going to be pushed even further while Adult Swim makes these changes. In 2020, Roiland pled not guilty against his allegations and was released on a $50,000 bond. In the years since, several pre-trial hearings have occurred, and Roiland is due back in court on April 27.
Update (Wednesday, January 25 at 1:10 PM ET): Hulu and 20th Century Animation ended their association with Justin Roiland on Wednesday, Deadline reports. The Hulu original series he co-created and provided voices for, Solar Opposites and Koala Man, will continue without his involvement. This news comes just after Roiland resigned from his position at video game company Squanch Games.
If convicted, Roiland faces up to seven years in prison.
Update (Wednesday, March 22 at 6:00 PM ET): Justin Roiland was cleared of domestic violence charges because of "unsufficient evidence" in Orange County court, The Hollywood Reporter reports.
In a statement published on Twitter, Roiland wrote: "I have always known that these claims were false — and I never had any doubt that this day would come. I’m thankful that this case has been dismissed but, at the same time, 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."
In the wake of the allegations, The Hollywood Reporter published an exposé detailing Roiland's alleged toxic workplace behavoir. In 2020, Cartoon Network conducted a formal investigation looking into Roiland’s inappropriate work conduct, though it was not reported whether or not any actions were taken.
As of now, Roiland is still out at Adult Swim and Hulu, though he goes on in the statement to say, "I'm determined to move forward and focus on both my creative projects and restoring my good name."
Brianna Wellen is a TV Reporter at Primetimer who became obsessed with television when her parents let her stay up late to watch E.R.