Rick and Morty co-creator Justin Roiland, also the voice of both lead characters, has been fired by Warner Bros. Discovery following domestic abuse allegations.
By Mark McKee
Fans of the properties provided on HBO Max by the Warner Bros. Discovery studio can’t seem to catch a break in the last year of activity during the merger of the two massive companies. Of course, they have been hit with the news of the cancellation and complete dissolution of the DCU Snyderverse, but they also have had to endure a less-than-stellar reception of a curious take on the Scooby Doo property with Velma. And now, following a criminal charge for domestic violence, Deadline reports that the studio has parted ways with the creator of Rick and MortyJustin Roiland.
The popular co-creator, producer, writer, and star of the Adult Swim series is now embroiled in a severe legal case that could see him spend upwards of a decade in prison. In a semi-sealed domestic violence case, Roiland was 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 by the attorney’s office in the Orange County District of Southern California. The incident, alleged by an unnamed victim, supposedly happened in 2020, and if found guilty, the Rick and Morty star could receive seven years in prison and some very hefty fines.
Of course, a court date has been set for late April, and the brain behind the Cartoon Network hit has pleaded not guilty, with his attorney saying that he believes the charges will be dropped. The case was kept out of the public eye for the last three years, only coming to the attention of everyone else with a January hearing that saw him enter his not-guilty plea. Roiland posted a $50,000 bail in the meantime and has also been served with a protective order against him while awaiting trial.
Of course, in the same way, that many Hollywood personalities have experienced backlash in the industry pending conflict resolution, Justin Roiland’s time with Warner Bros. Discovery has come to an end. In a statement released by a spokesperson for the studio, they revealed they had ended their working relationship with the Rick and Morty writer. The separation of the two parties raises a handful of questions about the future of the beloved series.
For starters, the animated classic was picked up by the HBO Max owners for a ten-season run, losing its co-creator, writer, and star only six seasons into it. The second question is what to do with Roiland’s acting roles; in the six seasons that have aired, the voice actor has portrayed over 30 different characters. That includes multiple versions of the title characters, Rick and Morty, the most important characters on the show.
According to the studio, they plan to continue the production of the final four seasons, intending to recast the roles played by Roiland. Rick and Marty isn’t the only property spearheaded by the creator, as he also has Solar Opposites and Koala Man with Hulu. While HBO Max may continue their gutting of properties with the dismissal of Roiland, there has yet to be a word on his future with Hulu.