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Rick and morty justin roiland

Adult Swim Vows ‘Rick and Morty’ Will Continue Despite Cutting Ties with Justin Roiland

Adult Swim has officially cut ties with Rick and Morty co-creator Justin Roiland after it was reported earlier this month that he had been charged with domestic violence offences. For six seasons, Roiland has served as an executive producer, co-creator and writer for the highly-popular animated series, not to mention performing the voice acting duties for both Rick Sanchez and Morty Smith. However, despite the controversy surrounding Roiland and by extension, his work, Adult Swim has confirmed that it won’t be shelving Rick and Morty. 

“Adult Swim has ended its association with Justin Roiland,” reads a statement shared on Rick and Morty‘s social media channels. “Rick and Morty will continue. The talented and dedicated crew are hard at work on Season 7.”

Roiland’s dismissal from the show all but confirms that the major characters will be recast. While no information has been announced, the frontrunner would certainly appear to be Sean Kelly, a viral voice-over artist who’s amassed over 2 million followers on TikTok for his spot-on Rick and Morty impersonations. Whether he or anyone else would be willing to take on the role, however, is another story.

'Rick and Morty' co-creator Justin Roiland | Image: Deadant

‘Rick and Morty’ co-creator Justin Roiland | Image: Deadant

The initial furore surrounding Roiland broke earlier this month when the 42-year-old appeared in court for a pre-trial hearing relating to charges incurred in Orange County, California in May 2020. At the time, his alleged charges were one count of domestic battery with corporal injury, and one felony count of false imprisonment by menace, violence, fraud and/or deceit. Roiland has pleaded not guilty to both charges.

Various media outlets have since reported that the alleged incident took place on or around 19 January 2020, with the claimed offences perpetrated against an unidentified woman who was dating Roiland at the time.

When revealed, the news sent shockwaves through the Rick and Morty fanbase. Since premiering in late 2013, the animated series has amassed a cult-like following, nabbing two Primetime Emmys in 2018 and 2020, respectively. Roiland co-created the show alongside Community creator Dan Harmon and has since gone on to co-create Hulu animated series Solar Opposites and the recently announced Koala Man. Hulu has yet to comment on Roiland’s charges or announce if they will impact his existing work on the streaming service.

While Adult Swim’s decision to continue on with Rick and Morty may seem strange in light of the circumstances, it’s not completely unexpected. As The Hollywood Reporter rightly explained, Adult Swim isn’t yet halfway through the massive 70-episode order commissioned back in 2018. With reports suggesting the show is locked in through season 10, the producers will have to work quickly to find a replacement for the very distinctive voice actor. Roiland is set to front another pre-trial hearing on April 27.