After the news broke that Rick and Morty co-creator Justin Roiland is facing felony charges for alleged domestic violence, both Adult Swim and Hulu severed ties with the veteran voice actor who seemingly sat atop of a growing animation empire. However, according to a new report, Roiland’s questionable behavior behind the scenes of Rick and Morty has allegedly been a problem for years.
On top of allegations of sending inappropriate text messages to co-workers, Roiland reportedly had little involvement in the making of Rick and Morty following the first season. His participation dramatically decreased each season to the point where it was a rarity to see him in the Cartoon Network offices where his presence was reportedly not the best. (Roiland was reportedly investigated by the network back in 2020, but no details have been shared regarding findings or consequences.)
More recently, multiple sources say that Roiland, other than voice work, has not had any meaningful creative presence on any of the series that bear his name. In fact, many of his former colleagues say they haven’t heard from him in years, and when they have, it’s been unpleasant. They note, too, that he hasn’t been on speaking terms with his Rick and Morty co-creator, Dan Harmon, for multiple seasons, and a substantial number of staffers on that show as well as Solar Opposites and Koala Man have never actually met Roiland, even over Zoom.
Roiland reportedly operated under the belief that if he voiced a major character, it would be harder to fire him from the show. That proved not to be the case on Rick and Morty, and apparently, Roiland’s tactic did not work on Koala Man.
“He knew the power of being the voices,” says a source, noting how Roiland had revealed early on that he believed securing key voice roles would safeguard him from being fired one day. On Koala Man, on which he’s simply an executive producer, he was given a character to voice in the show’s third episode but, per two sources, the writers almost blew their deadline waiting for him. The character was killed off at the end of the episode.
Following reports of Roiland’s domestic violence trial and allegations of sending unwanted, lewd messages (as detailed by THR) to several women, Rick and Morty employees demanded that Cartoon Network make it clear that Roiland had minimal involvement in the show outside of voicing the characters from his house. Not only did the network comply, but it quickly severed ties with Roiland with Hulu following suit.
(Via The Hollywood Reporter)