The Goldbergs Star Jeff Garlin Exits Series After HR Investigation

Jeff Garlin will leave The Goldbergs effective immediately, and will not complete work on the show's currently-in-production ninth season. The actor was the subject of an HR investigation into a string of misconduct allegations on the set of the hit sitcom. During a recent interview with Vanity Fair, the actor acknowledged that investigations had been ongoing for a long time, and that he disagreed with Sony Pictures Television's position that some of his conduct on set was making for an unsafe workplace for the cast and crew of The Goldbergs. He acknowledged that he and Sony had to come to an agreement of some kind, but denied that he was being fired.

It seems Garlin's exit from the series is the result of that agreement, with Deadline characterizing the departure as being mutual. The site also reports that they had received numerous comments from anonymous members of the series' crew, who said that the comedian was verbally and emotionally abusive, and that the mood on set is significantly worse when Garlin is working.

"Well, to be honest with you, there is no story," Garlin told Vanity Fair. "We have a difference of opinion, Sony and myself. Okay. 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… 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."

Deadline reports that Garlin retaliated after a camera assistant made an HR complaint, which seems likely to have been the last straw. He frequent use of the word "vagina" to try and get a laugh out of the crew disturbed the camera assistant, and she made a complaint to HR. According to the Deadline report, "After the actor found out, he reportedly put his hands around her and kept saying 'vagina' in her face over and over again." 

It seems Garlin's juvenile humor -- other examples were "go-to jokes" about grandma's genitals -- weren't the only issue, with other crew members saying that he would not call some women on the crew by name, but used offensive nicknames.

There is no word yet on a potential tenth season for the series, or how the show will address Garlin's departure. Sony Pictures Television had no comment when Deadline and Variety reached out to them.