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Dan Harmon Reportedly Hasn't Had Anything to do with Justin Roiland For Years

By Dustin Rowles | TV | February 7, 2023 |

By Dustin Rowles | TV | February 7, 2023 |


The Hollywood Reporter has an insightful piece on the “implosion of Justin Roiland’s Empire,” and there are two big takeaways. First, Roiland is a terrible human being that no one — especially Dan Harmon — seemed to like. Second, besides providing voice work, Roiland hasn’t had much or anything to do with the television shows that bear his name, and even the voice work was recorded in his home studio.

The article suggests that Roiland and Dan Harmon had a great relationship in the writers’ room during the first season of Rick and Morty when everyone was goofing off and there were no expectations. However, once Rick and Morty found some success, Dan Harmon did what Dan Harmon does: He turned the job into a job, insisted on making each successive season better, and Roiland did not appear to like working beyond doodling dicks and making inappropriate jokes. The relationship between Harmon and Roiland quickly began to deteriorate. Roiland was rarely engaged in the writers’ room during the second season, and when he was, it was mostly to derail the proceedings. By the third season of the series, Roiland had just stopped showing up.

Nevertheless, Harmon and Roiland managed to put aside their dislike of one another to secure a 70-episode renewal in 2018. By then, Roiland had been largely “relegated to voicing characters, for which he’d take no direction and record from his home.”

The situation was similar on both Solar Oppposites and Koala Man. Roiland barely participated, except to insist on voicing characters in Solar Opposites because that would keep him from being fired, although the writers did kill off his character on Koala Man after one episode because Roiland proved to be too difficult to work with even in his capacity as a voice actor.

Multiple sources say that Roiland, other than voice work, has not had any meaningful creative presence on any of the series that bears his name. Many of his former colleagues say they haven’t heard from him in years, and when they have, it’s been unpleasant. They note, too, that he hasn’t been on speaking terms with his Rick and Morty co-creator, Dan Harmon, for multiple seasons, and a substantial number of staffers on that show as well as Solar Opposites and Koala Man have never actually met Roiland, even over Zoom.

Though he had little to do with his television shows, Adult Swim did continue to employ and pay the man even though he contributed little, except the occasional HR violation, such as when he talked openly about the threesomes he had with his girlfriend and sent a “really creepy” text to a female employee in the middle of the night.

Meanwhile, once the felony arrests had surfaced, the people working on all of Roiland’s shows were desperate to put out a statement acknowledging that Roiland had not “meaningfully contributed” to the series in years. They even contemplated leaking the letter. Warner Brothers/Discovery not only released the letter but to their credit, quickly severed ties with Roiland.

He does, however, continue to be represented by UTA.

Source: THR