Four clear signs that prove Rick and Morty creator Justin Roiland has always been a creep

By Mason Berlinka

Published Mar 23, 2023 at 10:30 AM

Reading time: 5 minutes

We’ve all shared a few laughs watching Adult Swim’s outlandish sci-fi comedy cartoon Rick and Morty, which follows the titular characters as they go on space-faring adventures that parody a huge backlog of science fiction clichés. The show rarely holds its punches and often treads a thin line between the boundaries of political correctness, a line that the one of show’s co-creators, Justin Roiland, seems to have crossed many times in the real world.

News has been steadily surfacing about the showrunner’s conduct, particularly in regard to how his actions are not only emblematic of a persistent problem in showbiz but also of one that’s reflected in his own show. From the moment Roiland first faced accusations and the revealing signs Rick and Morty fans found throughout the show, to the creator’s recent tweet about the whole situation, here’s everything you need to know.

Justin Roiland faces domestic assault charges

It was Thursday 12 January 2023 when things first began to circulate. Reports revealed that the increasingly controversial creator was facing domestic violence charges—stemming from an incident with a former girlfriend that took place in 2020. If found guilty,  Roiland could serve up to seven years in prison.

As reported by the BBC, the allegations against the cartoon creator were brought up by an anonymous Jane Doe who police say was in a “dating relationship” with Roiland at the time of the incident. The exact charges imply domestic battery with corporal injury and false imprisonment by menace, violence, fraud and/or deceit.

Of course, in classic fashion, Roiland’s legal team have vehemently denied any wrongdoing and assert that the District Attorney’s office will dismiss the case once it has gone through review. In the meantime, the Ricky and Morty creator has been ordered to keep at least 100 feet away from the accuser at all times and to not harass her. The case was initially due to resume on 27 April 2023.

DMgate begins: Creepy messages from Justin Roiland to Allie Goertz and an underage fan are leaked

If you thought that things couldn’t get much worse for the infamous voice behind the show’s headline characters, then you’re in for a surprise. Only days after it was revealed that Roiland is facing domestic violence charges, DMs between him and several women were leaked online, highlighting a creepy and sinister side to the critically-acclaimed director.

The first conversation comes straight from the receipts of Allie Goertz, former MAD magazine editor and pop culture musician. She first crossed paths with Roiland in 2015 after she created a Rick and Morty concept album. What followed was sexually explicit and racially charged messages from Roiland, which he inevitably tried to cover up by claiming he was drunk. Those who are squeamish, scroll past because these messages are incredibly difficult to digest.

Goertz revealed that this unpleasant interaction completely turned her off Rick and Morty—insanely understandable. Of course, this was a highly upsetting situation, particularly considering the musician had devoted so much of her time to making a concept album for the show.

The next DMs come from a since-deleted Twitter post revealing sexually explicit messages from Roiland towards a minor. The language used in the messages is consistent with what we have seen of the creator in the past—reflecting a nasty pattern. Warning again: these ones are vomit-worthy.

Even without context, the messages above are disturbing. However, the story becomes that bit more unsettling when you find out that the recipient was only 16 at the time. Not only is Roiland creepily obsessing over her being “jailbait,” but he even spouts racist jokes in an attempt to be funny. Once again, heavily toxic and problematic.

Justin Roiland shared his questionable attitudes towards teenage girls in a podcast

Roiland’s gross attitudes were once again highlighted in a clip from an episode of The Grandma’s Virginity Podcast from 2011, where he detailed how he feels bad for victims of Chris Hansen’s famous To Catch a Predator, saying that the girls they lure the men in with have “fully developed” bodies, adding that “of course, I’m attracted to that.”

Another clip from the same podcast had Roiland saying: “100 years ago, it was little 13-year-old girls—if they were built like a woman, they were getting married and having kids. And now we’re going to be all precious about it?” Yikes is the only word that comes to mind. The creator clearly has a history with these sorts of attitudes and how they snuck under the radar for so long is unbeknown to us.

Justin Roiland’s misconduct is now apparent when looking back on ‘Rick and Morty’ episodes

As upsetting as it is to admit, red flags begin to crop up when you revisit some of the cult show’s episodes—signs that point to Roiland’s disturbing sense of humour and problematic attitudes.

Ex-fans that were shocked by the leaked messages took to TikTok to joke that Mr Jellybean (a giant anthropomorphic jelly bean that featured in an episode of season one) was actually a self-insert for Roiland himself. While the character appears innocent to begin with, things take a turn when Mr Jellybean tries to sexually assault Morty. The scene is graphic, intense, and heavily bothersome considering everything that has now come to light.

The show also included a number of instances depicting sexual interactions between characters described as minors—nothing overly graphic, but still oddly gratuitous. Moreover, some fans have also complained online about the hefty amount of incest jokes features in the series.

Justin Roiland’s video game studio was previously sued for sexual harassment

We’re not out of the woods just yet. In 2018, the video game development studio Squanch Games, which Roiland founded back in August 2016, was sued for alleged sexual harassment, discrimination and wrongful termination, something that was kept as quiet as possible up until recently.

Although the accused isn’t Roiland himself in this case, this additional revelation clearly highlights the toxic environment fostered at a company run by the American voice actor. The lawsuit comes from designer Sarah Doukakos, who alleged she was harassed and belittled by then-technical director, Jeff Dixon.

The case went on to state that Dixon repeatedly crossed numerous lines with Doukakos, through the giving of things like unwanted and unsolicited hugs, as well as repeatedly undermining her gameplay suggestions.

When the victim went to upper management with the worrying claims, she was dismissed and no action was taken against Dixon. The lawsuit went on to say that Doukakos was eventually fired as a result of her speaking up against the technical director, and that the termination was unwarranted.

Justin Roiland dropped from ‘Rick and Morty’

On Wednesday 25 January, the official Adult Swim Instagram account shared the news that it had “ended its association with Justin Roiland.” That being said, the cartoon network also added that Rick and Morty would still be going on, with the rest of the crew already hard at work on season seven.

Meanwhile, Squanch Games also cut ties with its founder, but like Adult Swim, noted that it still plans on creating more video games.


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According to NBC News, Disney-owned subscription streaming service Hulu has done the same, with Roiland having been dropped from his other cartoon, Solar Opposites, as well as the recently released Koala Man, a show that the disgraced voice actor was also an executive producer on.

Despite these big networks all taking a stance against Roiland, it’s doubtful that nobody knew of his conduct earlier. It seems like this was an easy way out for these companies—a chance to escape without admitting any culpability. And it’s not only them avoiding any kind of backlash. It’s just now been revealed that Roiland himself will walk free.

Justin Roiland tweets that the case has been dismissed and that the allegations against him were false

On Tuesday 22 March, Roiland took to Twitter to share a long message captioned justice.” In it, he stated that the suit was based on “the word of an embittered ex trying to bypass due process and get me cancelled,” adding that the lawsuit had ended, and that he was “determined to move forward” with his life and creative career.

A spokesperson for the Orange County District Attorney’s office told Kotaku that the case was dismissed “for lack of sufficient evidence to prove the case beyond reasonable doubt as a result of additional information that came to light in the investigation.” The publication also reached out to Roiland’s lawyers, but could not obtain a comment.

Though we certainly hope that Roiland’s career will slowly crash and burn, fans will be happy to hear that his various shows are planning to go ahead. That being said, we can’t help but wonder what shape they’ll take without him, given the integral part his many voices played in them. Who knows, maybe AI will lend a helping hand in replacing the creator?

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