Elon Musk has said Rick and Morty co-creator Justin Roiland is the “heart of the show”, after he was fired from the Adult Swim production.
The network “ended its association” with Roiland on Tuesday (January 24) following reports that he had been charged over an alleged incident of domestic violence from 2020. Roiland has denied the charges.
After Adult Swim made the announcement, YouTuber Tim Pool responded to the statement on Twitter, writing: “how lol. Justin is rick *and* morty.”
In response to Pool, Musk wrote: “He is also the heart of the show.”
He is also the heart of the show
— Mr. Tweet (@elonmusk) January 25, 2023
Rick and Morty is set to continue without Roiland’s involvement. Along with being the show’s co-creator, he provided the voices of many characters in the series including the titular Rick Sanchez and his grandson Morty Smith. It’s expected the roles will be recast.
“Adult Swim has ended its association with Justin Roiland,” read a statement shared on Rick and Morty’s social media channels. “Rick and Morty will continue. The talented and dedicated crew are hard at work on Season 7.”
On Wednesday (January 25), it was announced that Roiland had resigned as CEO from Squanch Games. The studio, who recently released game High On Life, received his resignation earlier in the month on January 16.
Hulu has since announced Roiland will no longer be involved in animated shows Koala Man and Solar Opposites (via The Hollywood Reporter), where he was a co-creator and voice of the main character.
Roiland appeared in court on January 12 this year for a pre-trial hearing after being charged in Orange County, California in May 2020 with one count of domestic battery with corporal injury, and one felony count of false imprisonment by menace, violence, fraud and/or deceit. Roiland has pleaded not guilty to both charges.
According to the complaint against Roiland, the alleged incident took place on or around January 19, 2020, and was perpetrated against an unidentified woman who was dating Roiland at the time. A date for the trial has not yet been set, but another pre-trial hearing is scheduled to take place on April 27.
Roiland co-created Rick and Morty alongside Community creator Dan Harmon, with the first season premiering in late 2013. The show’s sixth season premiered in 2022, and ended last month.