Domestic Abuse Charges Against ‘Rick and Morty’ Co-Creator Justin Roiland Dismissed
Insufficient Evidence Cited by California Prosecutors
Prosecutors in California dismissed domestic abuse charges against Justin Roiland, a co-creator and former star of the animated comedy “Rick and Morty,” after determining that there was not enough evidence to prove them in court, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office said on Wednesday.
Background on the Case
Mr. Roiland was charged in 2020 with domestic battery and false imprisonment of a woman he had been dating. The felony charges did not emerge publicly until January, when NBC News reported them.
’Rick and Morty’ Connection
Later that month, Adult Swim, the nighttime adult programming block for Cartoon Network, which distributes “Rick and Morty,” announced that it had “ended its association” with the actor, who voiced both main characters — the mad scientist Rick Sanchez and his grandson, Morty Smith — over six seasons.
Dismissal of the Case
A spokeswoman for the district attorney’s office, Kimberly Edds, said Wednesday that prosecutors had made the decision to dismiss the case after “additional information came to light,” which she declined to specify. Mr. Roiland had pleaded not guilty to the charges and previously had a court hearing scheduled for next month.
In a statement posted to Twitter on Wednesday, Mr. Roiland said that he was thankful for the dismissal but “deeply shaken by the horrible lies that were reported about me during this process.”
“Most of all, I’m disappointed that so many people were so quick to judge without knowing the facts, based solely on the word of an embittered ex trying to bypass due process and have me ‘canceled,’” Mr. Roiland said in the statement. He added that he was “determined to move forward and focus both on my creative projects and restoring my good name.”
Impact on ‘Rick and Morty’
When Mr. Roiland left “Rick and Morty” this year, an executive at Warner Bros. Discovery, which owns Cartoon Network, said that the title characters would be recast for the seventh season.
A person familiar with discussions about the show’s future who was granted anonymity to discuss internal conversations said the show did not plan to revisit the decision to sever ties with Mr. Roiland.
Mr. Roiland, 43, was also removed from the animated Hulu comedy “Solar Opposites,” which he co-created and starred in, this year, and he resigned from the video game studio that he co-founded.
In his statement on Wednesday, Mr. Roiland said he had always known that the claims against him were false and “never had any doubt that this day would come.”