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Mick Joest

Rick And Morty EP Lightly Shades Justin Roiland And Applauds Crew For Not Letting Controversy Impact Season 7

Rick angry and Morty dead in Rick and Morty

Rick and Morty Season 7 is still slated to release in 2023, which is pretty impressive, considering the major controversy the show endured in the first half of the year. Justin Roiland's dismissal following charges of domestic violence left the acclaimed Adult Swim series without its co-creator and its primary voice actor for the titular characters. With that in the rearview, executive producer Steve Levy applauded the crew for pushing on, while just maybe lightly shading Roiland in the process. 

In light of Rick and Morty's Emmy nomination for Season 6's "Night Family," Levy spoke with the L.A. Times about the show's cast and crew following the legal drama and Roiland's ousting. The executive producer told the outlet it might have been an easy choice for all involved to sidle away from the show in recent months, but that everyone went in the other direction and helped make Season 7 special. In his words:

We had a rug pulled from underneath us. The only people we could lean on were each other. It would have been very easy to just say, ‘I’m done and I don’t want to do anything with this show anymore.’ But our crew said, ‘No, we’re not going to let one person drag down all of our hard work.’ This show is created by this team — this family of incredibly hardworking people, and we are going to push through and show the world that we aren’t going to miss a beat. The work that we’re doing across the board has only gotten better. When the new season comes out, we’ll focus on how amazing it all turned out. We hope the fans will realize that this is the same old show, maybe even better!

It's interesting that Steve Levy would imply Season 7 of Rick and Morty would improve in Justin Roiland's absence, but it's also perhaps not surprising to hear, even if it wasn't a direct shot at him. A report from THR back in February alleged Roiland had almost no creative presence on the series aside from his voice work, and that he took zero direction for his performances, often recording lines from home and sending them back to the studio sans oversight. Perhaps the implication there could be that a more cooperative performer might help improve the presumably already solid writing in Season 7? 

I'm eager to see how Rick and Morty operates without Justin Roiland in the mix at all, as the issues between him and co-creator Dan Harmon and others in the staff reportedly dated back well before the series scored its massive renewal deal in 2018. The show still found success and awards despite the alleged dysfunction behind-the-scenes, and thrived on oddball concepts such as "Pickle Rick." 

Justin Roiland has not spoken publicly about his removal from Rick and Morty or Solar Opposites, or much at all since the charges against him pertaining to domestic abuse were dismissed. The former co-creator published a tweet remains the statement he released following the dropped charges and a denial of what was claimed in reports ran about him: 

We know from SDCC 2023 that Rick and Morty will proceed with a soundalike voice actor for Justin Roiland, though no casting has been announced despite fan campaigns for certain talents. It sounds like the best play for the series to make if it's looking to minimize the impact of replacing the co-creator as much as possible, which sounds like the goal Steve Levy and others have in mind. We'll see if it's successful in Season 7 and how much Roiland's leaving will ultimately impact the show. 

Rick and Morty Season 7 is on the way, but fans can watch the series right now with a Max subscription. There's no telling what adventures are on the way for the Adult Swim series, though I am hoping we'll see more on the OG Rick storyline and where it's headed. 

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