Domestic Battery Charges Against Rick & Morty Co-Creator Justin Roiland Dropped

The forced imprisonment and domestic violence charges against voice actor and Rick & Morty co-creator Justin Roiland were dropped today, as verified by Roiland himself on Twitter and later confirmed by Variety. In 2020, the comedian pleaded not guilty to two felony domestic charges. According to NPR, Orange County District Attorney spokeswoman Kimberly Edds stated that the charges were dismissed, as there was insufficient evidence to prove a case "beyond reasonable doubt".

Feeling vindicated, Roiland took to Twitter to address the dismissal:

"I have always known that these claims were false — and I never had any doubt that this day would come. I’m thankful that this case has been dismissed but, at the same time, I’m still 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 "cancelled". That it may succeeded, even partially, is shameful. However, now that the legal case has ended, I’m determined to move forward and focus both on my creative projects and restoring my good name.”

Roiland's professional career took a critical hit in light of the allegations, as he has been dropped from his association with Rick & Morty (head development will most likely be led by fellow co-creator Dan Harmon) by Adult Swim. His ties have also been cut with Squanch Games, producers of 2022's High on Life and the Hulu animated sitcom Solar Opposites and Koala Man.

Given Roiland's history of being reportedly difficult to work with, talent involved with Rick & Morty (who spoke under anonymity) addressed uncomfortable work conditions, such as inappropriate workplace conduct, along with his influence and direction in the writing of Rick & Morty episodes, his absence may be minute for the series going forward. The vast differences between Harmon and Roiland's vision for the series differed greatly from Harmon's, as Justin strayed away from the deepening lore the series became known for. Recent seasons of the sci-fi comedy series would be filled with meta jokes addressing the criticism about Rick & Morty's direction. 

Where Roiland's future takes him will be determined by the court of public opinion. As of this writing, his minor roles in the animated comic book series Invincible have yet to be changed or addressed by Amazon or the showrunners.

SOURCES: The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, NPR

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