This ABC Sitcom Star Is Leaving His Show After Allegedly "Abusive" Behavior
Jeff Garlin is departing The Goldbergs after nine seasons following an HR investigation.
If The Goldbergs returns for a tenth season, the '80s-set sitcom will be missing one lead cast member. As reported by Deadline on Dec. 15, Jeff Garlin is leaving The Goldbergs following an HR investigation into his behavior on set. Multiple people who worked on the show have claimed that Garlin's behavior was frequently inappropriate. One person who came forward anonymously claimed to Deadline that he "is extremely verbally and emotionally abusive." The outlet reports that a mutual agreement was reached and that Garlin is stepping away from the series.
Best Life has reached out to Garlin's rep and The Goldbergs production company, Sony Pictures Television, for comment but has not yet received a response. Read on to find out more about Garlin's Goldbergs exit and to see what he's had to say about the allegations.
Garlin's alleged behavior led to an internal investigation.
On Dec. 3, Vanity Fair published a lengthy interview with Garlin, who plays patriarch Murray Goldberg, in which he addressed claims of inappropriate behavior on The Goldbergs' set, including making coworkers uncomfortable with his words and giving them unwanted hugs. He was also asked about an alleged situation with a stand-in that was said to be physical and verbal. Further, the Vanity Fair interview addressed an allegation that Garlin texted a co-worker to come to a table read scantily clad.
Garlin told Vanity Fair, "There has been an HR investigation on me the past three years. HR has come to me three years in a row for my behavior on set."
He confirmed some claims and denied others.
Regarding the situation with the stand-in, Garlin told Vanity Fair, "Nothing physical by any stretch of the imagination. And the verbal part was a joke that was completely missed…"
He went on, "[A]s 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 terribly confusing and untrue." He said that he does give hugs and that he would want people to tell him if they were uncomfortable.
Garlin also said that he engages in "silly" behavior on set because he is a comedian and it keeps his "energy up." For instance, he admitted "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 [medically accurate term for a type of genitals].' And that's just me being,, in my eyes, silly."
Asked whether he sent a text to a coworker telling them they should show up to a table read wearing only underwear, he said, "To my knowledge, no. But if I wrote something like that, it had to do with something that was going on, and it wasn't anything sexual. Yeah, there's no way. I'm talking 100 percent no way, because I don't talk that way. I don't. Now, have I said stuff like that joking? You bet. But not joking where the underlying thing was something sexual. It would have been silly."
Garlin's departure was immediate.
Deadline reports that the mutual agreement to have Garlin leave the show is effective immediately. At the time of the decision, he reportedly had one day left of filming at most for the ninth season.
In the Vanity Fair interview, which came nearly two weeks before the news broke about him leaving the show, Garlin said of the situation, "We're trying to come to a place where we come to an agreement. Either I can behave the way [they want] or not. We'll see, but I'm not being fired and I've not been fired. We're in the middle of talking about what we're going to do, but there will not be a firing. I will work more on The Goldbergs, just to let you know, I'm in contact with Sony. I will be shooting more days on the show. When I do shoot more days, just to make it go smooth, I will not be doing any of my silly stuff or anything, out of respect."
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The show may or may not go on without him.
As Deadline reports, a decision about The Goldbergs having a tenth season has not yet been made. The current season will continue airing into the new year. Garlin told Vanity Fair that he had "no idea" if the show would return for another season, but that he had already considered leaving before Season 9. "I love the people I work with and I didn't want the work to end for them. So I did my part in keeping the show going, even though I would have been happy not doing the show," he said.
Garlin is also a regular cast member on Curb Your Enthusiasm; as of now, there's been no indication that he's faced any behavioral allegations on that set.