Jeff Garlin exits The Goldbergs after HR investigation

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Jeff Garlin will no longer be a part of the cast of the ABC TV series, The Goldbergs.

The actor, who had starred as patriarch Murray Goldberg on the comedy series from producers Sony Pictures Television for the past eight-plus seasons, has departed the series following an HR investigation that stemmed from multiple complaints about his behavior on the set.

The Goldbergs is a semi-autobiographical comedy based loosely on the childhood of series creator Adam F. Goldberg. Goldberg served as showrunner until season seven when he moved his overall deal from Sony to Disney. Alex Barnow and Chris Bishop, who have been with the series since its debut, have helmed the series since then and exec produce alongside Doug Robinson and star Wendi McLendon-Covey, among others.

The cast also includes Sean Giambrone, Troy Gentile, Hayley Orrantia and Sam Lerner. The comedy said a fond farewell to the late George Segal, who played Adam’s grandfather, last season after the beloved actor’s sudden death in March.

Garlin vehemently denies that he was fired from the show, however it has since been announced that he will no longer be a part of the show, effective immediately. 

Last week, Garlin, Chicago native, sat down with Vanity Fair to discuss the THREE-YEAR HR investigation against him for misconduct on the set of the ABC series.

Following Garlin’s interview with Vanity Fair, in which he also defended himself against complaints from on set, his coworkers spoke with Deadline anonymously. They described conditions on set as being relatively professional and cordial, though the atmosphere allegedly turned sour when he was on set to film.

“’He is extremely verbally and emotionally abusive,” one employee claimed.

Garlin was shocked to hear the accusations that were shared with him in the Vanity Fair interview and said, “as a comedian, if somebody is offended by what I say I, all I can say is, I’m sorry. Okay? I have never physically come at anyone, for any reason, so that I find it terribly confusing and untrue. Look, I’ve discussed this with the main crew. The camera department, the sound department, the lighting department, and all of these people who worked on my own movie—I did a movie for Netflix called Handsome—never have any problems. There was nothing. So whoever it is that feels this way has it out for me. That’s my true belief. I would never physically put myself to someone. And I would never hatefully say something to anyone.”

One source alleged that a camera assistant complained to her department head about Garlin’s use on set of the word “vagina,” which he admitted to using in his interview.

After he learned of the complaint, Garlin reportedly put his hands around the camera assistant’s face and repeatedly said the word to her. 

In regards to the use of the word “vagina”, Garlin had this to say to Vanity Fair, “I’m going to go on record [with] this: the only word that I use, in terms of consistently, is when I stand up, I sometimes say—most of the time and I have for a hundred years, that doesn’t make it OK—I would go, “Oh, my vagina.” And that’s just me being,, in my eyes, silly. How that could make for an unsafe workplace, where if someone has a real vagina problem or someone says, “I have cervical cancer” or something, I’m not going to mention that anymore. I’m not going to do anything. But a generalization that someone is offended at me saying, “Oh my vagina,” when I stand up, I need more than that. That’s what I’m saying.”

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According to The Hollywood Reporter, cast and crew were informed of his exit Wednesday afternoon. Garlin was believed to have had one more day of shooting left from the original 18-episode Season 9 order after his schedule had been reduced. Deadline reports that the show used his double for what was supposed to be the actor’s last day, and his face will be superimposed using CGI in post-production for the episode, designed to wrap his character’s storyline.

According to eyewitnesses, executives came to the set Wednesday night to congratulate The Goldbergs cast and crew on the show’s 200th episode and address “the elephant in the room,” revealing Garlin’s exit.

“It feels a little surreal that he will never be here again but the mood on the set is ecstatic,” one person said. “In fact several people cheered when the execs said that Jeff would not be returning.”

It hasn’t yet been revealed whether The Goldbergs will be renewed for a tenth season, but the series is reportedly getting an extra four-episode order for the ninth season, bringing it to a total of 22 episodes.

Garlin works as both an actor and executive producer on HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, which recently began its 11th season. Garlin is also in Damien Chazelle’s upcoming film, Babylon, with Margot Robbie and Brad Pitt, and he has worked for nearly four decades as a standup, and his current tour, Use Me, is intended to aid comedy clubs affected by the pandemic.