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Rick And Morty's Dan Harmon Details Painful Final Exchange With Justin Roiland

"Rick and Morty" co-creator Dan Harmon is finally shedding light on his final exchange with Justin Roiland.

One of television's most exciting creatives, Harmon is the brains behind quirky comedy hits "Community" and "Rick and Morty," and the Fox series "Krapopolis." While "Community" was riddled with production woes, it has emerged as a cult hit, becoming one of the defining sitcoms from its era. Meanwhile, an open-ended sitcom with a rabid fandom, "Rick and Morty," shows no signs of stopping in its 10th year of production. While the show is a commercial juggernaut for Adult Swim, key changes have been made due to allegations against co-creator Justin Roiland. 

In early 2023, news broke that Roiland had been charged with felony domestic violence in 2020 (via NBC News). While the charges against Roiland, who voiced Rick and Morty, were eventually dropped due to insufficient evidence, he is no longer involved with the show's production.  

Despite no Roiland, Harmon and the rest of the creative team moved forward with Season 7. Since Roiland's dismissal from the series, Harmon had largely divorced himself from discussing his former creative partner until recently. 

While speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, Harmon candidly opened up about his final exchange with Roiland, which took place over text in 2019. "He said things that he'd never said before about being unhappy, and I remember saying to him the last time we spoke in person, like, 'I am worried about you, and I don't know what to do about that except to give you all the string and also just say I'm scared that you're not going to come back.' But then this conversation became unprecedentedly confrontational," he said, revealing that the conversation left him in tears. 

Dan Harmon (and Rick and Morty) are moving on from Roiland

Adult Swim cut ties with Justin Roiland in January 2023, shortly after the allegations against the creative came to light. Starting with Season 7, Rick and Morty will be voiced by new actors. As of this writing, Adult Swim and Dan Harmon haven't revealed the identities of the new voice actor or actors. While Roiland was a key part in bringing "Rick and Morty" to life, the series will continue. For how long? Harmon tells The Hollywood Reporter that the show could go the way of "The Simpsons" — one of the longest-running animated shows in television history, though nothing is guaranteed. Back in 2018, Adult Swim ordered 70 additional episodes of "Rick and Morty" — 30 of which were produced between Seasons 4 and 6, meaning fans still have at least 40 episodes to look forward to. 

As the series began to grow in popularity, Harmon and Roiland's creative relationship began to suffer, with the former discussing how the partnership was on the rocks as early as Season 2. A separate THR article highlights the chaotic production of "Rick and Morty," which saw Harmon and Roiland barely interacting with one another, which caused division among the show's writers and creatives. 

Because of their growing creative differences, workplace attitudes, and the expectations set in place, the two began to grow apart, which led to the painful exchange via text in 2019. "At that point, we're no longer both there for it, and it starts to become not only unfair for me to continue but totally uncomfortable because, from there, a friendship goes away, and I still don't fully understand why," Harmon continued, acknowledging the difficulties in discussing Roiland. 

The allegations against Justin Roiland

To add further context regarding Justin Roiland's departure from "Rick and Morty" and other creative projects, it's important to acknowledge the allegations brought against him. In September 2023, NBC News detailed multiple instances of Roiland leveraging his "Rick and Morty" clout to go after fans. The NBC report sheds light on Roiland's various intentions to pursue women, highlighting instances of sexual assault and underage drinking. The article also covers Roiland's predatory behavior, which included keeping in communication with underage women. After allegations began to manifest in 2023, Adult Swim and other institutions involved with Roiland quickly cut ties with the creative.

In addition to not being involved with "Rick and Morty," Roiland is no longer involved with Hulu's "Solar Opposites," an animated series he co-created. The character he used to voice, Korvo, has since been replaced by Dan Stevens — a fan of the show, according to producer Sydney Ryan. Roiland also resigned from his position as CEO of Squanch Games.

If you or anyone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, or has been a victim of sexual assault, contact the relevant resources below: