Jeff Garlin's Firing From "The Goldbergs" Was "A Long Time Coming," Co-Star Says
Wendi McLendon-Covey addressed her castmate exiting the show amid misconduct claims.
After starring on the sitcom for nine seasons, in December 2021, Jeff Garlin exited The Goldbergs following an investigation into allegedly inappropriate and abusive behavior towards others on set. The actor, who also starred on Curb Your Enthusiasm, commented at length about the allegations at the time, and now, his on-screen wife has shared her thoughts on the matter. In a new interview with Radio Andy, Wendi McLendon-Covey said that Garlin leaving the show was "a long time coming." Read on to see what else the actor, who portrays Beverly Goldberg, had to say about working with her castmate and his character being killed off.
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Garlin was accused of inappropriate behavior.
There was an human resources investigation into Garlin's behavior following multiple co-workers accusing him of saying inappropriate things, giving unwanted hugs, getting into an altercation with a stand-in, and texting a co-worker to request they attend a table read while scantily clad.
Deadline reported that the decision for Garlin to leave the show was a mutual one. Workarounds were used to imply the presence of Garlin's character Murray for the remainder of the ninth season, without the actor actually being on set. Murray was then killed off (off-screen) between the ninth and tenth seasons. The tenth and final season of the sitcom is currently airing.
McLendon-Covey said Garlin leaving was "a long time coming."
During her interview with Radio Andy, McLendon-Covey was asked about Garlin being written out of the show. She responded, "That was a long time coming, and that it finally happened it was like, 'Okay, okay. Finally, someone is listening to us.'"
McLendon-Covey confirmed that Garlin's exit was a culmination of a process rather than being sudden. She added, "If we can not talk about that, that would be great. I'm exhausted by that topic and the PTSD of it all … I just feel like the less people know about that, the better. No one benefits from knowing anything."
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Garlin's exit was difficult for one specific reason.
While McLendon-Covey expressed relief that Garlin is no longer a part of the cast, she did express that his character's death was probably tough for audiences because another star of the series had recently passed. George Segal, who played Beverly's father, died in March 2021 at 87 years old.
"That was kind of hard, though, because we had lost George Segal in real life," McLendon-Covey said. "And then to have to go through another loss on a sitcom, you know, you can't keep asking your audience to mourn people … That's not why they tune in."
Garlin defended his behavior as his brand of humor.
Prior to leaving the show, Garlin gave a lengthy interview to Vanity Fair about the accusations he was facing. He denied some of the allegations to the publication while confirming others were true. He denied getting physical with the stand-in but admitted that he engaged in "silly" behavior on set, because he is a comedian.
"[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," Garlin said. Addressing the accusation about the table read, he declared that if he ever said something like that to someone, it would have been as a joke and not meant in a sexual manner.
McLendon-Covey defended the show amid Garlin's absence.
After Garlin left the show, The Goldbergs used CGI and editing tricks to include Murray in several episodes, which viewers found obvious and awkward. McLendon-Covey responded to a TV and film critic who tweeted that the show should either be canceled or Murray finally killed off, which is of course what eventually happened.
"This season threw us for a loop because it's hard to incorporate someone who doesn't want to be there and wants to leave mid-scene, and we weren't about to rewrite the second half of the season," the actor wrote back, as reported by Variety. "We're doing our best."