When an actor leaves their television show in the middle of filming a season, it can result in many changes to the show and change the whole trajectory of the story.
Jeff Garlin stepped away from ABC’s The Goldbergs during the filming of Season 9 of the comedy show. They have been using his stand-in for shots from behind and group shots as well using previously recorded and unused footage as well as off-camera dialogue.
However, some fans of the show are not exactly keen on the way it’s been handled since he left late last year and are desperate for the writers to do anything to remove or replace his character.
Freelancer Noel Murry took to Twitter to express his distaste for the way Season 9 was filmed, writing, “They should either cancel The Goldbergs or kill off Jeff Garlin’s character because the workarounds they’ve been using this season ain’t working.”
The statement earned a response from actress Wendi McLendon-Covey, who portrays the overprotective mother, Beverly Goldberg, in the series.
Wendi McLendon-Covey addresses Jeff Garlin’s absence from The Goldbergs
Along with expressing his dissatisfaction for how they’re handling Jeff Garlin’s absence, Noel Murray included a short clip that appears to show Garlin’s face pasted on another body and quick film cuts to avoid showing him from the head-up or from the front.
Wendi took this opportunity to reply to Noel, writing, “Thanks for the great suggestion Noel! This season threw us for a loop because a.) it’s hard to incorporate someone who doesn’t want to be there and wants to leave mid-scene, and b.) we [weren’t] about to re-write the 2nd half of the season. We’re doing our best.”
After Wendi replied, many fans came to defend the show and express what they want to see for the remainder of the show.
One wrote, “Well said Wendi. I really liked the episode, it’s clear everyone is trying to work around an impossible situation and I applaud the whole team. Honestly, I would just recast him, its not like he’s not replaceable. Also,I hate that he bad mouthed the show that paid him.”
Another fan expressed their hope that the show can continue for at least one more season, saying, “I hope #TheGoldbergs gets renewed for one more season. Perhaps a recast or an off screen death of the Murray character can be written into the show. Other shows have survived departures of key cast members so I don’t see any reason why this one can’t.”
Even though the future of The Goldbergs is up in the air, it seems that fans will continue to support Wendi McLendon-Covey regardless of what happens.
Was Jeff Garlin fired from The Goldbergs?
According to Vanity Fair, Jeff Garlin was not fired from The Goldbergs.
Jeff Garlin himself advised that he was not fired from the show, however, ABC declined to comment about whether or not the actor was fired.
While ABC did not comment, a spokesperson from the studio who makes the series, Sony Pictures Television, said, “The well-being of our cast and crew is of utmost importance to us. This is an employment matter and it is being addressed by HR and production.”
Why did Jeff Garlin leave the Goldbergs?
Near the end of last year, it was announced that Jeff suddenly left the show due to “multiple misconduct allegations.” Though the comedian maintains that he never meant any harm to anyone and that was just his way of being funny, it was not welcome on set any longer.
The alleged misconduct resulted in several instances of human resources investigating his behavior on set and ultimately led to him and the studio agreeing that he would leave the show.
According to three other employees from The Goldbergs, Jeff would frequently engage in patterns of “verbal and physical misconduct on set that made people uncomfortable.”
While not everyone found it uncomfortable, they were aware that others were made uncomfortable by the actor’s actions. He often used inappropriate language and touched or hugged people when they weren’t comfortable with the physical contact.
He reportedly got away with the behavior for so long because he would comment on it himself, saying things like he was a “big teddy bear” or “I’m a hugger” and “I just love you.” Although Jeff may have found these actions excusable, it’s clear that enough people were made uncomfortable to result in him leaving the show.