The Goldbergs Wendi McLendon-Covey Speaks Out Over Jeff Garlin Exit

The Goldbergs has been an ABC sitcom staple since its debut back in 2013, but that last year has shaken up the production in a lot of rough ways. Last March, George Segal, who played Pops on the show, passed away at age 87 due to complications from bypass surgery. In December, things took another dark turn when the show's star, Jeff Garlin, exited the series after an HR investigation. Shortly after the news dropped, it was announced that Garlin would still be in the current season despite his firing. While the actor has not filmed any new episodes of the sitcom, the series has been utilizing Garlin's stand-in, unused takes, previously shot images of the actor, and off-camera dialogue from earlier episodes. The use of Garlin on the show has led to some criticism online, and a recent tweet from journalist Noel Murray promted a response from The Goldgergs' Wendi McLendon-Covey. 

"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," Murray tweeted. "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 werent about to re-write the 2nd half of the season. We're doing our best," McLendon-Covey replied. You can view the tweet interaction below:

"Well, to be honest with you, there is no story," Garlin told Vanity Fair back when the news broke. "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 previously reported that Garlin retaliated after a camera assistant made an HR complaint, which seems likely to have been the last straw. His 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." 

The Goldbergs' ninth season currently airs Wednesdays at 8/7c.