Dan Harmon, co-creator of “Rick and Morty,” has finally spoken out about the allegations against his fellow co-creator, Justin Roiland. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Harmon expressed his feelings of frustration, shame, and heartbreak upon hearing the news.
The report revealed that eleven women and nonbinary individuals had shared a trove of messages with Roiland spanning from 2013 to 2022. Nine of these individuals alleged that Roiland had turned the exchanges sexual in nature, with three claiming they were only 16 when they began communicating with him. Shockingly, one woman disclosed that she was coerced into performing oral sex by Roiland. While addressing The Hollywood Reporter, Harmon refrained from commenting on the specific allegations.
Andrew Brettler, Roiland’s lawyer, had previously asserted that the allegations were “false and defamatory.” As of the latest update, Brettler has not responded to Harmon’s recent statements.
Harmon conveyed his deep dismay at the breach of trust between numerous individuals and a show that was intended to bring them joy. “I’m frustrated, ashamed, and heartbroken that a lot of hard work, joy, and passion can be leveraged to exploit and harm strangers,” Harmon, who is 50 years old, told media.
Notably, Roiland, aged 42, had faced charges of felony domestic battery and false imprisonment in Orange County, California, stemming from an alleged incident in 2020. However, these charges were dismissed in March due to insufficient evidence. Roiland had vehemently denied the allegations in a statement titled “justice.”
In the wake of the revelations about Roiland’s alleged misconduct, Harmon initially contemplated saying nothing about the situation. He acknowledged the ease with which he could have distanced himself from Roiland, considering his own lack of qualifications as a judge. However, Harmon recognized that this was not the time to focus on himself and instead lamented the harm caused to others. He also pointed out the irrelevance of discussing his own public life in this context.
Harmon, known for creating the series “Community,” shared that his last conversation with Roiland took place in 2019 via text and left him in tears. Roiland had expressed unhappiness in ways he had never done before, but the conversation took an unprecedented confrontational turn.
In March, Adult Swim and Disney’s 20th Television Animation severed ties with Roiland. A spokesperson for Adult Swim declined to comment on Harmon’s interview remarks, and Disney’s 20th Television Animation had not responded to requests for comment at the time of reporting.
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With new voice actors stepping in to replace Roiland, who also voiced the titular characters on the show, Harmon admitted he had chosen to maintain a limited role in the selection process. He lamented the sadness of the situation while emphasizing the importance of maintaining the show’s creative foundation. “It’s all just sad because the goal is for it to be indistinguishable,” Harmon explained. “At the same time, it would be absurd to suddenly decide that the entire foundation of your creative project was, oh, coincidentally, unimportant.”