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The Guardian - AU
The Guardian - AU
Sian Cain

Justin Roiland dropped from Rick and Morty after domestic abuse charges

Justin Roiland
Justin Roiland, the co-creator of animated TV series Rick and Morty, is awaiting trial on domestic violence charges. Photograph: Araya Doheny/Getty Images

Rick and Morty’s Justin Roiland has been dropped as the voice of the titular characters on the animated series and will no longer work on the show, after it emerged he had been charged with felony domestic abuse in Orange County.

The 42-year-old has pleaded not guilty and is awaiting trial after being charged with corporal injury and false imprisonment by menace, fraud, violence or deceit. The charges relate to a 2020 incident against an unidentified woman Roiland was living with and dating at the time.

In a statement earlier this month, Roiland’s attorney T Edward Welbourn said: “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.”

Roiland and Dan Harmon created the animated sci-fi sitcom about a mad scientist and his grandson, both voiced by Roiland.

On Tuesday, Marie Moore, senior vice president of communications at the show’s distributor Adult Swim, released a statement saying: “Adult Swim has ended its association with Justin Roiland.”

After Rick and Morty became a huge hit, the show’s distributor Adult Swim ordered an additional 70 episodes in 2018 – a massive commitment that would take Rick and Morty to 10 seasons. Season six finished airing in December.

Roiland is the voice of both Rick and Morty, as well as various other smaller characters. Unnamed sources have told the Hollywood Reporter that Rick and Morty will continue with Roiland’s voice roles re-cast, and while Roiland will retain his credit as co-creator, Harmon will now be the sole showrunner.

Roiland also co-created and provides a voice on the animated comedy Solar Opposites, and provides a voice and executive produces the animated series Koala Man. Both are broadcast on Hulu in the US and Disney+ around the world.

The Guardian has reached out to Roiland for comment.

The charges against Roiland first emerged two weeks ago when he appeared in court for a pre-trial hearing.

A trial date has not yet been set, but another pre-trial hearing has been set for 27 April.

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