Adult Swim's Rick and Morty is returning for Season 7, but there will be a huge cast change that will undoubtedly affect the show as a whole.
Season 7 of Rick and Morty is set to premiere on the Adult Swim network on Sunday, October 15, but it will have to do so without series lead and co-creator Justin Roiland.
Roiland not only voiced both Rick Sanchez and Morty Smith throughout the first six seasons of the show but also nearly two dozen other characters as well.
The actor and co-creator was fired by Adult Swim back in January, forcing the company to recast all of the characters that Roiland voiced.
What Did Justin Roiland Do? Allegations Explained
As previously mentioned, Adult Swim fired Rick and Morty lead actor and co-creator Justin Roiland after he was caught up in some serious allegations.
In August 2020, Roiland was charged with felony domestic battery with corporal injury as well as false imprisonment by menace, violence, fraud, and/or deceit, although those charges never came to light until January 2023.
However, the charges against the actor were ultimately dropped due to insufficient evidence, which led him to release his own statement in May.
The statement, which was shared by Roiland via X (which was known as Twitter at the time), called the allegations "horrible lies" and expressed that Roiland was "disappointed that so many people were so quick to judge him:"
"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 'canceled.'"
He then ended the statement by saying he was "determined" to clear his name and work more on his "creative projects:"
"That it may have 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."
These allegations against Roiland may have been dropped, but it wasn't the only drama that the Rick and Morty co-creator was caught up in.
After Roiland's charges were publicly shared, multiple (11 to be exact) women and nonbinary people came forward and revealed that Roiland had been in contact with them, with nine claiming that Roiland even made their relationship sexual.
It is also important to note that some of these people were minors at the time that this took place. Specifically, at least three of them stated that they were 16 years old when they began talking to Roiland.
Most of these conversations happened over social media direct messages (DMs), but in some cases, he even wanted to meet up with these people, sometimes even offering to cover travel costs.
Multiple women and nonbinary people who were targeted by Roiland publicly came forward and shared their DMs between themselves and Roiland. They also released pictures, videos, emails, and even plane tickets and Uber receipts proving just how far Roiland was willing to go with them.
Some of the victims also shared that Roiland would make inappropriate comments to them such as calling them "hot" while even asking how old they were, which suggests that Roiland knew that some of these people were underage.
One woman specifically stated that Roiland sexually assaulted her when they met in person - that he forced her to perform oral sex on him against her will.
Another victim, who was only 20 years old at the time and not legally allowed to consume alcohol, said that Roiland force-fed her multiple alcoholic drinks and then engaged in intercourse with her and another woman.
This led to the victim feeling as though she had been taken advantage of since Roiland continued to get her intoxicated.
Roiland's lawyer obviously claimed that these allegations against the actor were "false and defamatory."
Roiland's Rick and Morty partner and co-creator Dan Harmon also commented on Roiland's troubles at one point, saying that he was "frustrated, ashamed, and heartbroken" about what had taken place:
"Trust has now been violated between countless people and a show designed to please them. I’m frustrated, ashamed and heartbroken that a lot of hard work, joy and passion can be leveraged to exploit and harm strangers."
Why Did Justin Roiland Get Replaced On Rick & Morty?
In January, Justin Roiland was officially fired by Adult Swim, meaning that the Rick and Morty co-creator and actor wouldn't be returning for the show's seventh season.
This posed a bit of a problem seeing as how Roiland voices the two main characters, Rick and Morty, as well as many other characters.
Roiland was ultimately fired due to the domestic abuse allegations against him, even though the actor pleaded not guilty and the case was eventually dropped.
It is also important to note that executives on other projects such as Koala Man, Squanch Games, and Solar Opposites each decided to part ways with Roiland as well, meaning that his professional career definitely took a hit because of the legal troubles he was in at the beginning of the year.
The allegations against Roiland weren't the first strike against him, though, in the eyes of studios such as Adult Swim.
Apparently, Roiland brought a well-known porn star on the set of Rick and Morty at one point, talked about sexual topics such as three-way intercourse on multiple occasions, and was even accused of sexual harassment during the development of Rick and Morty's third season.
It was also revealed that Roiland became increasingly absent from his duties as co-creator of Rick and Morty as time went along. Some of his fellow crew members and actors even stated that they continued to grow further apart from him and sometimes didn't even see him at all.
Will Justin Roiland Ever Return to Rick & Morty?
Justin Roiland was ultimately fired because of the domestic violence allegations against him, and if those had been cleared up with no other drama surrounding the co-creator and actor, he may have been welcomed back to continue his work on the show.
However, the sexual assault allegations and the 11 victims that provided concrete proof of what he had done to him likely sealed the door shut on Roiland forever.
Entertainment companies don't have the time and/or resources to be in league with someone who is facing as much trouble as Roiland currently is.
In their eyes, it is best to distance themselves and their projects from problems such as that, and that is likely what Adult Swim and Rick and Morty will do for the rest of its future.
However, as the saying goes, the show must go on, and Rick and Morty will likely continue to entertain fans when Season 7 is released on Sunday, October 15.