Justin Roiland thought he would never get fired if he cast himself in key voice roles

Justin Roiland
Irvin Rivera/Getty Images for IMDb

The rise of Justin Roiland may have been a gradual one, spanning over a decade across various popular animated shows such as Rick and Morty, Gravity Falls, Solar Opposites, and most recently Koala Man. His downfall, however, happened overnight. Now, new reports suggest the 42-year-old animator and voice actor had been safeguarding himself from such a fate by casting himself in key voice roles. 

“He knew the power of being the voices,” said a source from The Hollywood Reporter. According to them, “Roiland had revealed early on that he believed securing key voice roles would safeguard him from being fired one day.” Such roles include both Rick Sanchez and Morty Smith on Rick and Morty, Korvo on Solar Opposites, and Earl of Lemongrab on Gravity Falls, among others. 

However, despite his prominent positions, Roiland’s worth ethic was another matter entirely. When it came to Koala Man, “the writers almost blew their deadline waiting for him” to turn in his work. As it turns out, Roiland refused to voice his parts in the studio, choosing instead to record them at home, all the while taking zero direction. His character on Koala Man was eventually killed off by the end of the third episode, as was Roiland when his controversies reached the public. He is no longer associated with Koala Man, nor much of anything he’s created in the last decade. 

After it was reported that Roiland faced felony domestic violence charges from a 2020 case against an unnamed Jane Doe, his key voice roles could do nothing to counter the nosedive his reputation took. A reputation that was further tarnished by the release of leaked private messages between him and an underage fan. Before long, Adult Swim — the network that airs Roiland’s flagship show Rick and Morty — announced its severance from him. On Jan. 24, Adult Swim and Roiland parted ways, confirming that Rick and Morty would continue its seventh season without Roiland, a theme that appears to be the case for nearly everything the animator touched.