Justin Roiland's Lawyer Speaks Out On Charges And Elon Musk Weighs In On Rick And Morty Firing Following Domestic Violence Charges

Rick and Morty co-creator and actor Justin Roiland has been making a lot of headlines lately, but not because of his work voicing the titular characters on the animated Adult Swim series. News broke earlier in January that he was facing two charges for an alleged domestic violence incident that occurred back in 2020. Now, Roiland's attorney has spoken up, and Twitter CEO Elon Musk contributed his two cents on the matter.

Justin Roiland's Lawyer Releases A Statement

Just days after Justin Roiland was fired from Rick and Morty despite his status as co-creator and voice actor, he attended a pre-trial hearing in court on January 26. The development comes after he pleaded "not guilty" to the charges back in 2020, which include one felony count of domestic battery with corporal injury and one felony count of false imprisonment by menace, violence, fraud, and/or deceit. Attorney T. Edward Welbourn, who is one of the lawyers representing Roiland, wrote a statement in defense (via NBC News):

We look forward to clearing Justin's name and helping him move forward as swiftly as possible.

The criminal complaint alleges that the incident that resulted in the two charges occurred in mid-January of 2020, making this pre-trial hearing (and Roiland's firing from Rick and Morty) almost exactly two years later. He wouldn't be formally charged until May 2020 and arrested in August of that year before being released on a bond of $50,000. He was arraigned in October 2020. This week's pre-trial hearing is only the latest, and no date has been set for trial at the time of writing. 

According to the outlet, Justin Roiland's lawyer revealed that there is a plea offer on the table, although no details about the offer are available. Relatively few details are actually publicly known at this point due to a protective order. What has been confirmed in no uncertain terms is that while Adult Swim is moving forward with more seasons of Rick and Morty after the sixth wrapped ahead of the 2023 TV season, Roiland will not be involved... and Elon Musk has thoughts.

Elon Musk Weighed In

Billionaire Elon Musk made plenty of headlines himself over the past year, with his purchase of Twitter landing him on CinemaBlend's list of the biggest pop culture moments of 2022. Unsurprisingly, it was on the social media platform that Musk spoke up with his thoughts on Justin Roiland being fired. In response to the Adult Swim post that announced the end of its association with Roiland and Rick and Morty continuing without him, Musk wrote on Twitter:

He is also the heart of the show

Roiland was certainly key to Rick and Morty's first six seasons as the voice actor behind the two main characters (and fans already have an idea of somebody who could replace him), but there has been no indication since his firing or Musk's tweet on January 25 that Adult Swim will reverse its decision. In fact, another platform has made moves to cut ties, with Hulu announcing the end of their association with Justin Roiland on Solar Opposites and Koala Man. Roiland co-created and acted in the former, and is credited as an executive producer on the latter.

Only time will tell what Justin Roiland's professional future looks like, how the legal case against him will proceed, and whether any further details become available despite the protective order.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).