Adult Swim drops Justin Roiland from Rick & Morty after domestic violence charges

VoiceOver Actor Justin Roiland attends The Game Awards 2017 - Arrivals at Microsoft Theater on December 7, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.
(Image credit: Photo by Leon Bennett/WireImage via Getty)

On Tuesday, the official Twitter account for animated comedy Rick and Morty posted tweeted that Adult Swim had "ended its association with Justin Roiland," the show's co-creator and primary voice actor. The announcement comes 12 days after the news broke that Roiland had been charged with felony domestic violence and false imprisonment over an incident in early 2020.

After rising to prominence in comedy and animation with Rick and Morty, Roiland founded gaming studio Squanch Games, which released High on Life in December. Roiland served as CEO and also voiced Kenny, High on Life's talking alien gun.

The Rick and Morty account's tweet today is the first since January 10, shortly before the domestic violence charges against Roiland were made public. It's brief, but states that "Rick and Morty will continue" with work on season seven ongoing. It makes no mention of who will replace Roiland as the voice actor for Rick, Morty, and a range of other characters.

Squanch Games hadn't posted on its social media channels since January 11, but several hours after the Rick and Morty tweet above, it posted its own statement on Roiland's actions. "On January 16, 2023, Squanch Games received Justin Roiland's resignation. The passionate team at Squanch will keep developing games we know our fans will love while continuing to support and improve High on Life." Roiland voices a number of secondary characters in High On Life as he does in Rick and Morty.

In May 2020 Roiland was charged with "felony domestic battery with corporal injury" and "felony false imprisonment by menace, violence, fraud and/or deceit" according to NBC, which broke the news. He plead not guilty to both charges in October 2020. The case has not yet gone to trial, and came to light when Roiland attended a pre-trial hearing this month. If convicted, Roiland could face several years in prison—in California, felony domestic violence can carry a sentence of up to four years. Felony false imprisonment can carry a sentence of up to three years.

This story has been updated with a statement from Squanch Games on Roiland's resignation.

Wes Fenlon
Senior Editor

Wes has been covering games and hardware for more than 10 years, first at tech sites like The Wirecutter and Tested before joining the PC Gamer team in 2014. Wes plays a little bit of everything, but he'll always jump at the chance to cover emulation and Japanese games.

When he's not obsessively optimizing and re-optimizing a tangle of conveyor belts in Satisfactory (it's really becoming a problem), he's probably playing a 20-year-old Final Fantasy or some opaque ASCII roguelike. With a focus on writing and editing features, he seeks out personal stories and in-depth histories from the corners of PC gaming and its niche communities. 50% pizza by volume (deep dish, to be specific).