Though Adult Swim initially had little to say about recent news reports that Rick and Morty co-creator Justin Roiland is facing two felony charges for domestic battery and false imprisonment by menace, violence, fraud, or deceit, the channel now says it has cut ties with him.
In a statement provided to The Hollywood Reporter, Adult Swim / Cartoon Network communications senior vice president Marie Moore announced that the network has “ended its association with Justin Roiland.”
According to The Hollywood Reporter sources, plans are currently underway for Roiland’s Rick and Morty roles to be recast, and co-creator Dan Harmon will take over responsibilities as the show’s sole showrunner, though Roiland will still be credited as a co-creator.
A tweet posted to the official Rick and Morty Twitter account did not elaborate beyond that but stated that the show’s remaining crew is still working on season 7.
A similarly short and to-the-point tweet posted two hours later to the page for Squanch Games, the games studio Roiland co-founded in 2016, announced that he tendered his resignation there on January 16th.
According to a criminal complaint originally filed in May 2020 by an unnamed woman, Roiland allegedly “did wilfully and unlawfully inflict corporal injury” and “unlawfully violate the personal liberty of” his then-partner, who was subsequently granted a protective order against him later that year. Roiland pleaded not guilty to the charges.
A couple of weeks ago, NBC News first reported about the charges against Roiland, and following that, multiple people came forward with their own stories saying he’d been sexually untoward and inappropriate with them. At least one of Roiland’s accusers claimed that he groomed them from the age of 15 while they were still in high school.
As The Hollywood Reporter notes, Adult Swim is still in the thick of a massive 70-episode order for more Rick and Morty that it first finalized back in 2018, leaving it with few options as to how to move forward without being associated with Roiland. Roiland’s next pretrial appearance is set for April 27th.
Update January 25th, 2:10 PM ET: Hulu and 20th Television Animation announced this afternoon in a statement to Variety that they have also “ended our association with Justin Roiland.” As was the case with Rick and Morty, Hulu’s Solar Opposites, which Roiland co-created, and Koala Man, which he executive produced, will both continue without his involvement.