“It felt unfair to do that to someone”: Rick and Morty Showrunner Reveals Why Show Got 2 Voice Actors to Replace Justin Roiland Despite Backlash

The showrunners spoke about the exhausting process of finding voice sctors ahead of the seventh season premiere.

Rick and Morty Showrunner Reveals Why Show Got 2 Voice Actors to Replace Justin Roiland Despite Backlash

SUMMARY

  • Voice actor and co-creator Justin Roiland was fired from Rick and Morty after he was charged with domestic abuse.
  • The actor used to be the voice of both the titular characters and was replaced by two new actors in the show.
  • The show’s creators defend their decision to cast two new actors to replace Roiland.
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The makers of the hit Adult Swim show Rick and Morty had to face the monumental task of replacing co-creator and lead voice actor Justin Roiland as he was facing domestic abuse allegations. The showrunners scoured the earth for six months before finding two actors to voice the titular characters, namely Ian Cardoni and Harry Belden.

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Roiland was the voice of both the characters and many fans had felt that his replacement would be the end of the show. However, showrunners Dan Harmon and Scott Marder revealed why the decision to cast two actors was a good decision.

Also read: “I’m frustrated, ashamed, and heartbroken”: Rick And Morty Co-Creator Breaks Silence On Justin Roiland’s Firing After Multiple Allegations

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Why Was Justin Roiland Fired From Rick And Morty?

Justin Roiland
Justin Roiland

By 2023, voice actor and animator Justin Roland was at the peak of his career. He was the face of the hit show Rick and Morty, and he created other animated shows such as Solar Opposites, and Koala Man. He also launched his own video game company called Squanch Games and released High On Life.

However, his career came tumbling down overnight when he was arrested for alleged domestic abuse by an unnamed woman whom he was dating in 2020. Though the incident occurred in August 2020, it only came out in 2023. Following the expose, many allegations of inappropriate work behavior and sexual harassment.

Roiland was fired from his role as Rick and Morty from the eponymous TV show. He also resigned from Squanch Games and was let go from his other animated shows Koala Man and Solar Opposites. Roiland was acquitted of all charges due to insufficient evidence and he mentioned that he would focus on clearing his name. In September 2023, allegations of sexual assault and explicit communication with underage girls online were made against Roiland.

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Also read: “We’re going to push through”: Rick and Morty Producer Claims Justin Roiland’s Exit Won’t Affect Season 7 After Creator’s Abuse Allegations Surfaced

Why Did Rick And Morty Showrunners Choose Two Actors To Replace Justin Roiland?

Justin Roiland
Justin Roiland

After his dismissal, Justin Roiland was replaced by two voice actors in the Adult Swim sitcom Rick and Morty. Roiland was the voice of both the lead characters in the show and he had also voiced many other small characters. Newcomers Ian Cardoni and Harry Belden were cast as Rick and Morty respectively.

The show was co-created by Roiland along with Dan Harmon, who is known for creating the show Community. Harmon mentioned that replacing Roiland was a monumental task, which reportedly lasted six months and thousands of people, as he used to voice so many characters. He and showrunner Scott Marder wanted to make sure that casual fans of the show would see no difference in the experience despite the personnel change.

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Also read: “He was totally a super fan”: Zack Snyder Wanted to Get a Rick and Morty Movie Done Using His ‘Snyder-ness’ That Failed Apart

A still from Rick and Morty
A still from Rick and Morty

The duo revealed their process and intention in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. Marder mentioned,

“For sheer quality of life, it’d be easier for the amount of work required for both characters. We watched it over the years wear down on Roiland’s voice. It felt unfair to do that to someone.”

Dan Harmon mentioned that it was a smart decision due to the volume of work that was left in the seventh season before its premiere. He said,

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“We want the fan experience to continue with as little disruption as possible. In a weird way, catering to the idea that there’s been a replacement of a single human being — an auteur — is going to play into the disruption factor. We really want people to keep believing these characters are real.”

Marder also praised the new actors Ian Cardoni and Harry Belden for being eager and enthusiastic and claimed that they had bought the show thirty more years.

Also read: Did Rick & Morty Creator Justin Roiland Bring Adult Star to Work? – From Domestic Abuse to Threesome Demands, Allegations Explained

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Written by Nishanth A

Articles Published: 977

Nishanth A is a Media, English and Psychology graduate from Bangalore. He is an avid DC fanboy and loves the films of Christopher Nolan. He has published over 400 articles on FandomWire. When he's not fixating on the entire filmography of a director, he tries to write and direct films.