According to Dan Harmon, the last time he spoke to his “Rick and Morty” cocreator Justin Roiland was over text in 2019. The executive producer described the conversation as “unprecedentedly confrontational” in a profile with The Hollywood Reporter.
Additionally, Harmon has spoken out about the allegations against his cocreator for the very first time. “I would feel so safe and comfortable making this about me, but that trick is worthless here and dangerous to others,” Harmon said. “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.”
The profile documents the rift between the two cocreators that happened around Season 2 of the sci-fi comedy. As “Rick and Morty” became more and more popular after Season 2, Harmon brought in his own writers, many of which previously worked with him on “Community.” In his words, the goal in hiring these writers was so that the two could become “increasingly lazy and not show up for work.” Instead, Roiland saw it as Harmon trying to overtake the show they created together.
Harmon claims that their final text conversation left him in tears. “He said things that he’d never said before about being unhappy,’” Harmon said in the article. He then refused to share more out of respect to Roiland’s side of their relationship.
Initially, Harmon maintained his silence around the sexual misconduct allegations against Roliand for similar reasons. In January, NBC News reported that Roiland had been charged with domestic battery and false inprisonment in 2020. However, in the wake of NBC News reporting this month that Roiland used his “Rick and Morty” fame to groom and sexually assault fans, Harmon changed his tune.
The profile also reveals that Harmon has stayed largely uninvolved from hiring Roiland’s replacement voice actors, calling the process “just sad.”
Shortly after the initial report form NBC News, Adult Swim cut ties with Roiland and announced that he would be replaced by soundalike voice actors in “Rick and Morty” moving forward. Though the names of those actors has yet to be released, their work can be heard in the first trailer fro “Rick and Morty” Season 7.
Warner Bros. Discovery wasn’t the only company to cut ties with Roiland or even replace him as voice actor. Hulu and 20th Television Animation — the companies behind “Solar Opposites” and “Koala Man” — both dropped Roiland as did Squanch Games, the video game company he co-founded. Additionally, “Solar Opposites” has replaced the voice of Korvo, a character Roiland originally voiced, with Dan Stevens.