Jeff Garlin exits The Goldbergs after HR investigation into multiple complaints over on-set behavior
EW has confirmed the 59-year-old comedian will not complete filming on the Wendi McLendon-Covey-starring comedy's current ninth season, after staffers approached human resources with reports of alleged verbal and physical conduct that made show staff uncomfortable.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, The Goldbergs cast and crew were informed of Garlin's exit on Wednesday morning. EW has learned that the decision for Garlin to leave the program was a mutual one.
ABC and production company Sony declined to comment on Garlin's departure from the show. Representatives for Garlin didn't immediately respond to EW's requests for comment.
Garlin, who has starred on the 1980s-set comedy since season 1 in 2013, previously addressed the allegations in an interview with Vanity Fair, in which he was asked if he was fired from the show, and maintained that he was not let go. He also pointed to an incident involving a joke with a stand-in that he acknowledges was "misconstrued," but that there "was nothing physical" about the interaction.
"My opinion is, I have my process about how I'm funny, in terms of the scene and what I have to do. They feel that it makes for a quote 'unsafe' workspace. Now, mind you, my silliness making an unsafe workspace — I don't understand how that is. And I'm on a comedy show. I am always a kind and thoughtful person," Garlin, who played the patriarch of the titular family (inspired by creator Adam F. Goldberg's childhood) continued, adding that there has been an HR investigation into his behavior for the last three years. "I make mistakes, sure. But my comedy is about easing people's pain. Why would I ever want to cause pain in anybody for a laugh? That's bullying. That's just uncalled for."
When asked to elaborate on what people took issue with on set, Garlin wouldn't get into specifics, but did indicate that he disagreed with a lot of "silly" things said about him.
"If I said something silly and offensive, and I'm working at an insurance company, I think it's a different situation. If I, as the star of the show, demanded a gun range and on set, and I was firing guns every day and I was a little bit loose — to me, that's an unsafe work atmosphere. If I threatened people, that's an unsafe work atmosphere. None of that goes on ever with me," he said. "That's not who I am. I am sorry to tell you that there really is no big story. Unless you want to do a story about political correctness."
Garlin also currently stars on HBO's beloved Larry David comedy Curb Your Enthusiasm. EW reached out to representatives for the show regarding whether the alleged complaints lodged against Garlin on The Goldbergs might impact his standing on that series.
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