It’s not just Rick &Morty that’s been impacted by the ongoing downfall of Justin Roiland, in the wake of the previously acclaimed creator and voice actor facing domestic violence charges. Although the Adult Swim series will no doubt be the most-discussed casualty of Roiland’s career likely being over, his status as one of the most influential figures in animated television over the past decade and a half means that many popular cartoons of contemporary times will unfortunately tainted by his involvement.
That includes Disney Channel favorite Gravity Falls, although that show may be able to save itself an unsavory association with Roiland if it repeats a smart trick that was employed the last time one of its cast members became embroiled in scandal. Gravity Falls, which originally ran from 2012-2016, initially featured comedian Louis C.K. in a guest role in its series finale. After C.K.’s history of sexual misconduct came to light in 2017, creator and lead voice actor Alex Hirsch elected to remove C.K. from Gravity Falls, redubbing his performance himself.
With the Roiland situation mirroring C.K.’s, it might be in Disney’s best interests for Hirsch to give his character the same treatment as C.K.’s. As much as it would arguably be to the show’s long-term benefit, however, there are certain issues that make this a much less obvious step than it was last time. For starters, Roiland is a much more significant part of the series. The star played Blendin Blandin, a time travelling frenemy of the Pines twins who recurred throughout both seasons, so he wasn’t a mere guest spot like C.K.
In addition, Hirsch and Roiland are also known to be close friends, with their relationship dating back to their collaboration on Disney cartoon Fish Hooks, which ran from 2010-14. As fans of both shows will well know, Rick & Morty and Gravity Falls — which both deal with interdimensional travel — are confirmed to exist in the same multiverse thanks to various crossover Easter eggs. In the aftermath of the revelations about Roiland, Hirsch has refrained from making any public comment on the matter (at least at the time of writing).
It’s unclear whether the impetus to redub C.K.’s performance came from Disney or Hirsch, so it’s possible replacing Roiland on Gravity Falls could be taken out of Hirsch’s hands if it is ultimately a corporate decision. While it remains to be seen how things will play out, fans would no doubt prefer it if Gravity Falls could cut its ties with Roiland so that they aren’t reminded of his personal history while rewatching what is otherwise one of the most feelgood and wholesome animated series in Disney’s canon.
We Got This Covered has reached out to Alex Hirsch and Disney for comment.