Co-creator of ‘Rick and Morty’ is dropped from the show following domestic violence charges


Tribune News Service

Figures of characters from the Adult Swim TV show “Rick and Morty,” Space Beth, Planetina and Summer Smith were unveiled on the Fremont Street Experience in front of the Golden Nugget near Casino Center Boulevard, on Friday, Sept. 2, 2022, in Las Vegas. Photo permission from Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal/TNS.

Ava Jurick, Writer

Justin Roiland, the star and co-creator of animated comedy, ‘Rick and Morty,’ has been dropped from the series following his charges of felony domestic violence in Orange County, CA on Jan. 12.

Cartoon Network’s night time adult programming block, Adult Swim, announced on NBC on Jan. 25 that it had ended its association” with Roiland. He has also been removed from the animated Hulu comedy ‘Solar Opposites,’ which is about a group of aliens that escape an explosion and land in suburban America. Roiland co-created the show with Mike Mchahan and was renewed for a fifth season in October and will continue without Roiland.

“I have been watching Rick and morty since the beginning, it was a shock to hear about Roiland and it will be weird to not hear his voice in the show,” senior Josh Gordon said.

The series ‘Rick and Morty’ first premiered in 2013 with six seasons and follows the stories of Rick Sanchez, a mad scientist, and his grandson Morty Smith. Roiland has played the voices of both Rick and Morty since 2013, so it is going to be a challenge to recast the voices people know and love.

“It is a tragedy for the show, but also disappointing to know you looked up to someone who has committed such horrible crimes,” senior Lawrence Russinoff said.

Not only has Roiland been dropped from his television deals, but he has also resigned from the video game studio he co-founded, Squanch Game. The studio previously released a game ‘High on Life’ a month before the news of his charges broke.

“Justin Roiland has been a major figure in the entertainment industry and his legacy is now tarnished with all of these domestic charges,” senior Kyler Schwartzberg said.

The voice actor and creator is being charged with one count of domestic battery with corporal injury and one count of false imprisonment by menace, violence, fraud or deceit following an alleged incident that year with an anonymous Jane Doe whom he was dating. Roiland has pleaded not guilty for the next pre-trial hearing scheduled for April 27.

‘Rick and Morty’ has been a major hit television series, especially this past year with 560,000 live viewers per episode. The long-term deal of 70 new episodes and a deal for up to 10 seasons will use a new voice which is currently unknown.

“It is not just about Rick and Morty but Roiland plays a role on so many different shows that will not be the same without his voice,” junior Lauren Buchwald said.

Hulu has taken a big hit after Roiland has been accused of these domestic crimes. In addition to ‘Rick and Morty’ and ‘Solar Opposites’ both on Hulu, ‘Koala Man,’ which premiered Jan. 9, Roiland does voicework and also is an executive producer which will now have to replace him.

Roiland’s attorney, T. Edward Welbourn, stated on the announcement from NBC, “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.”

The charges against Justin Roiland will circle through the media for the next few months and throughout his trial. The television series he is a part of will recast his role and continue to shoot. The charges are extremely disappointing and shocked viewers that have to continue the show with the same role, and a different actor doing the voice overs.