The popular American screenwriter, producer, animator and comedian Justin Roiland, who together with Dan Harmon created the animated series for adults Rick and Morty, has been fired from the Adult Swim channel. The reason was two criminal charges brought against Roiland for domestic violence and unlawful deprivation of liberty by threat, violence, fraud or deception.
In a statement, provided by The Hollywood Reporter, Adult Swim / Cartoon Network Senior Vice President of Communications Marie Moore announced that the network “has ended its association with Justin Roiland.”
According to the outlet’s sources, plans are now in the works for Roiland’s roles in Rick and Morty to be recast, with co-creator Dan Harmon taking over as sole showrunner. Based on the fact that Roiland also voiced both main characters of the animated series, the project team will have to find a creative solution to this problem. However, so far the release of the seventh season of the series has not been canceled or postponed, and work on it continues.
According to a criminal complaint filed in May 2020 by an unnamed woman, Roiland allegedly “intentionally and unlawfully inflicted bodily harm” and “unlawfully violated the personal liberty” of his then-partner, who obtained a protective order against him later that year. Roiland pleaded not guilty to the charges.
NBC News first reported the allegations against Roiland a few weeks ago, and since then, several people have come forward with their own stories of being sexually harassed by him.
The next pretrial hearing in Roiland’s case is scheduled for April 27.