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Justin Roiland domestic violence charges dropped, Rick and Morty creator speaks out

‘I’m determined to move forward and focus both on my creative projects and restoring my good name’

A photograph of Justin Roiland from San Diego Comic-Con 2022 on The IMDb Yacht Photo: Irvin Rivera/Getty Images for IMDb
Matt Patches is an executive editor at Polygon. He has over 15 years of experience reporting on movies and TV, and reviewing pop culture.

Nearly two months after a pair of felony charges made in January 2020 against Justin Roiland were unearthed by NBC News, the Rick and Morty creator says the case against him has been dismissed. He finally responded to the accusations against him publicly in a statement posted to Twitter.

“I have always known that these claims were false — and I never had any doubt that this day would come,” Roiland wrote. “I’m thankful that this case has been dismissed but, at the same time, I’m still deeply shaken by the horrible lies that were reported about me during this process. Most of all, I’m disappointed that so many people were so quick to judge without knowing the facts, based on solely on the word of an embittered ex trying to bypass due process and have me ‘canceled.’ That it may have succeeded, even partially, is shameful. However, now that the legal case has ended, I’m determined to move forward and focus both on my creative projects and restoring my good name.”

Court documents obtained by Polygon from the Superior Court of California show that a hearing scheduled for Wednesday was canceled. A spokesperson for the District Attorney confirmed to Polygon that Roiland’s case had been dismissed due to “insufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt.”

In August 2020, Roiland was arrested, charged with one count of “domestic battery with corporal injury” and one count of “false imprisonment by menace, violence, fraud, and/or deceit,” and eventually released on a $50,000 bond. Roiland pleaded not guilty to both charges that October during an arraignment. Details of the case were sealed for confidentiality; only in 2023 did the circumstances come to light.

While Roiland intends to move forward with his creative work, it’s unclear how the update to the case will leave his relationships with major studios. In January, 20th TV Animation and Hulu Originals issued a joint statement saying, “We have ended our association with Justin Roiland,” who produced Hulu’s Solar Opposites and Koala Man.

“Adult Swim has ended its association with Justin Roiland,” a spokesperson for Rick and Morty stated at the time. The team at Squanch Games looked forward in its response: “The passionate team at Squanch will keep developing games we know our fans will love while continuing to support and improve High On Life,” which had just come off the largest single-player game launch in Game Pass history.

Polygon has reached out to Adult Swim, Hulu, and Squanch for additional clarification and comment. We will update this story when spokespersons respond.

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