Hulu cuts ties with Justin Roiland of ‘Rick and Morty’


Hulu has severed ties with Justin Roiland, co-creator of its show “Solar Opposites” and the Adult Swim series “Rick and Morty,” the company announced Wednesday.

The announcement comes a day after Adult Swim announced it had ended its relationship with Roiland and several weeks after news began to circulate about domestic violence charges against Roiland. NBC first reported the charges on Jan. 12.

“We have ended our association with Justin Roiland,” Hulu Originals and 20th TV Animation said in statement sent to The Times on Wednesday.

Roiland was tied to two animated series on Hulu, co-creating and starring in “Solar Opposites” and executive producing “Koala Man,” which also featured his voice acting in a guest role. Both shows will continue without Roiland’s involvement.

The domestic violence charges against Roiland stem from an alleged incident that occurred on or about Jan. 19, 2020, in Orange County, involving an unnamed Jane Doe who was dating Roiland at that time, according to the complaint obtained by The Times.

Roiland is facing one count of domestic battery with corporal injury and one count of false imprisonment by menace, violence, fraud and deceit. He pleaded not guilty to both felonies in October 2020, court records showed.

Roiland’s attorney has denied the charges, saying in a statement to The Times on Jan. 12 that his client is “innocent” and they expect “that this matter is on course to be dismissed once the District Attorney’s office has completed its methodical review of the evidence.”

Hulu had released its third and most recent season of Roiland’s show “Solar Opposites” last summer. In 2021, the show was reportedly renewed for a fourth season. The first season of “Koala Man” premiered on Hulu earlier this month.

Perhaps the biggest void left by Roiland’s absence is on his Adult Swim show “Rick and Morty,” which also streams on Hulu.

Adult Swim, the Cartoon Network’s counterpart for mature audiences, aired six seasons the Emmy-winning “Rick and Morty,” which Roiland co-created with Dan Harmon. Roiland also voiced the titular characters, mad scientist Rick Sanchez and his grandson Morty Smith.

The show was renewed through Season 10 as part of Adult Swim’s 70-episode pick-up in 2018. With development on its seventh season ongoing, the show must still put out four more seasons without Roiland. His acting roles will probably be recast for the rest of the show’s run, a channel representative said.

Hours after Adult Swim posted its statement on social media Tuesday, video game studio Squanch Games, which developed Roiland’s game “High on Life,” followed suit, announcing Roiland had resigned from the company.

“The passionate team at Squanch will keep developing games we know our fans will love while continuing to support and improve High on Life,” the Burbank game developers said in their statement.

Roiland is scheduled to appear in court for a continued pretrial hearing on April 27.

Times staff writers Tracy Brown, Alexandra Del Rosario and Wendy Lee contributed to this report.

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