The animated sci-fi comedy “Rick and Morty” will recast its title roles after severing ties with Justin Roiland, a voice actor and the show’s co-creator, who has a pretrial hearing in April for felony domestic abuse charges from 2020.
Adult Swim, Cartoon Network’s nighttime adult programming block, announced on Tuesday that it had “ended its association” with Roiland. “Rick and Morty will proceed,” the statement said. “The talented and dedicated crew are hard at work on Season 7.”
Roiland has also been faraway from the animated Hulu comedy “Solar Opposites,” in accordance with an announcement by twentieth Television Animation and Hulu Originals. He co-created the show, which was renewed for a fifth season in October, and voiced one in all the principal characters, Korvo.
“Rick and Morty,” which debuted in 2013, follows the antics of Rick Sanchez, an alcoholic mad scientist, and his anxiety-riddled grandson, Morty Smith, as they travel to other planets and thru myriad dimensions. Marie Moore, the senior vice chairman of communications at Warner Bros. Discovery, which owns Cartoon Network, said in an email on Wednesday that the title characters can be recast but that she had no additional information on the recasting.
Roiland developed the show with Dan Harmon, the creator of “Community,” who didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment.
Roiland faces one felony count of domestic battery with corporal injury and one felony count of false imprisonment by menace, violence, fraud and/or deceit against an unnamed woman he was dating in 2020, in accordance with Orange County Superior Court records. The fees were earlier reported by NBC News, which said many of the California court records are sealed under a protective order.
There is no such thing as a trial date for Roiland, 42, who has pleaded not guilty. He has had greater than a dozen pretrial hearings, including one this month.
Roiland’s lawyer, T. Edward Welbourn, didn’t immediately reply to requests for comment on Wednesday. In an announcement to Rolling Stone, he said: “It is tough to overstate how inaccurate the recent media coverage of this example has been. To be clear, not only is Justin innocent, but we even have every expectation that this matter is on track to be dismissed.”
Along with his television departures, Roiland recently resigned from the video game studio he co-founded, Squanch Games, which released High on Life last month.
In 2018, “Rick and Morty” landed a 70-episode renewal deal from Adult Swim that it’s halfway through. At the moment, Adult Swim said the third season had earned the block’s highest rankings ever.