Update on December 16, 2021:
After a human resources investigation into his on-set behavior, Jeff Garlin is leaving The Goldbergs, which is currently in the middle of its ninth season. According to The Hollywood Reporter, a producer told cast and crew about the actor’s exit on Wednesday, December 15, noting that the decision was a mutual one between the comedian and Sony, the studio that produces the ABC series. The network has not yet renewed the sitcom for a 10th season.
Original story, published Saturday, December 4:
Breaking his silence. Amid the ongoing set investigation into allegations about Jeff Garlin’s behavior while filming The Goldbergs, he has refuted the claims of wrongdoing and being removed from the series.
“No, I was not fired from The Goldbergs. I have not been fired from The Goldbergs,” Garlin, 59, told Vanity Fair, in an interview published on Friday, December 3, following speculation that he allegedly engaged in a “pattern of verbal and physical conduct that made people uncomfortable.”
The Babylon actor continued: “There was no… Nothing physical by any stretch of the imagination. And the verbal part was a joke that was completely missed — because I like this guy. I like his wife. I’ve worked with them for years. How I suddenly wake up one day and I don’t like them — I don’t get that. I will say the joke was missed and I apologize to him. If someone misses a joke, that’s unfortunate to me. I don’t like it.”
Garlin, for his part, asserted that “there is no story” about an alleged misconduct incident, claiming that he has a “difference of opinion” regarding the nature of the events with Sony, the studio that produces the ABC series.
“My opinion is, I have my process about how I’m funny, in terms of the scene and what I have to do,” Garlin explained to the magazine. “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. 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.”
While the Curb Your Enthusiasm actor did confirm that the studio has investigated his behavior for three years, he dismissed any potential wrongdoing as a “silly” misunderstanding.
“If I said something silly and offensive, and I’m working at an insurance company, I think it’s a different situation,” Garlin claimed. “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. 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.”
The Arrested Development alum told the outlet that he has “never physically come at anyone” and alleged that he discussed his conduct with the crew, claiming that any individuals sharing their version of events “has it out for me.”
The Illinois native, who has appeared as Murray Goldberg in nearly 200 episodes since the show’s 2013 debut, continued to assert that he has not been let go from the long-running comedic series, which is currently airing its ninth season.
“We’re trying to come to a place where we come to an agreement,” Garlin told investigative reporter Maureen Ryan, before noting that he doesn’t think the show will fire him. “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. I’m just going to keep it on the QT, because you know why? They’re my bosses. And they have every right to have the set be the way they want.”
Sony, for its part, addressed the complaints made against Garlin via a statement.
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“The well-being of our cast and crew is of utmost importance to us,” a spokesperson for the production company told People on Friday. “This is an employment matter and it is being addressed by HR and production.”
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