Dan Harmon finally addresses Justin Roiland split ahead of Rick and Morty Season 7
Rick and Morty co-creator Dan Harmon has finally addressed his split with Justin Roiland weeks out from the Season 7 premiere, admitting he feels “frustrated, ashamed, and heartbroken” by the various allegations against the former lead voice actor.
Earlier this year, Roiland was charged with one felony count of domestic battery for an incident that occurred in 2020. In the months that followed, multiple other accounts of alleged misconduct have been raised, with some claiming he used his Rick and Morty fame to lure women before sexually harassing them.
In light of the controversies, Adult Swim cut ties with Roiland and announced plans to re-cast the roles of the show’s titular characters, as he previously lent his voice to both Rick and Morty. Beyond that, Roiland was also dropped by Squanch Games, the video game development studio he co-founded.
While certain charges have been dismissed by the courts due to a lack of sufficient evidence, and Roiland has sought to defend his name online, the controversies have nonetheless driven a wedge between him and fellow Rick and Morty co-creator Dan Harmon. Now, months after these scandals entered the spotlight, Harmon has publicly addressed the situation for the first time.
In a lengthy sitdown with The Hollywood Reporter just weeks out from the show’s highly anticipated return with mysterious new voice actors in the lead roles, Harmon recounted his experiences with Roiland, claiming the last time the two even spoke “was over text in 2019.”
Roiland allegedly started to “pull back” from his responsibilities on the show “during season two,” the article claims. “At some point in season three, Roiland simply stopped showing up.”
As a result, there was already a gap widening between the two before the eventual split. Matters were made all the worse in light of that final text exchange in 2019 where Harmon claimed Roiland “said things he’d never said before.”
“I am worried about you,” Harmon replied. “I don’t know what to do except to give you all the string and also just say I’m scared that you’re not going to come back.”
Creative differences seemingly drove them apart as Rick and Morty expanded from its initial ragtag group of writers and animators to a full-fledged team hammering out dozens of episodes for one of TV’s most popular ongoing shows today.
But beyond these disputes and changes in company culture, Harmon addressed the allegations leveled at Roiland head-on, siding with the victims and admitting his shame in his former colleague.
“It’s other people’s safety and comfort that got damaged while I obsessed over a cartoon’s quality. 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.”