Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland had been credited as the co-creators of Rick and Morty, but after Adult Swim cut ties with Roiland, everyone was wondering what Harmon had to say about his exit.
After months of silence, Harmon has finally opened up about Roiland’s firing, and he’s revealed that he actually hasn’t talked to Roiland since 2019. Talking to The Hollywood Reporter, Harmon shares that a rift had started forming between the two around the second season of the show when Harmon brought in new writers from his other series Community—resulting in Roiland thinking that the show was being taken away from him.
“If anything, what I wanted was for Justin and I both to be able to be increasingly lazy and not show up for work. That was the dream… We’d be these rich idea men. He could roll around and go, like, ‘What if a genie had a butt instead of a dick?’ And I could be like, ‘Yeah, and plus, we’re going to make people cry about it, and that’s going to make them freak out. It’s a story about a genie butt dick, but then we’d win an Emmy, and it’d be more ironic than ever.’ And then I’d come to find out later that it was like, ‘Oh, Harmon brought in his Harmon writers,’ and, man, that is not how I saw it.”
It got so bad that Roiland apparently stopped coming into the studio, and a mediator got brought in when the series was greenlit for 70 more episodes.
When asked to comment about the reasons Roiland was fired—specifically accusations of sexual harassment and assault—Harmon had this to say:
“The easiest thing for me to say about Justin has been nothing. Easy because he isolated so well and easy because I’m nobody’s first choice as a judge of anything or anyone. This is where I’d love to change the subject to myself, to what a piece of crap I’ve been my whole public life… I would feel so safe and comfortable making this about me, but that trick is worthless here and dangerous to others. It’s other people’s safety and comfort that got damaged while I obsessed over a cartoon’s quality. Trust has now been violated between countless people and a show designed to please them. I’m frustrated, ashamed and heartbroken that a lot of hard work, joy and passion can be leveraged to exploit and harm strangers.”
For now, the series is said to have cast two different people to provide the voice for Rick and Morty, and their identities have been kept secret until the premiere of the first episode. We don’t know exactly where Roiland stands now, but it would be great if we could also get his side of this story so we can get a better picture of exactly what went down.
Rick and Morty 7 premieres on Adult Swim on Oct. 15.