Co-star Wendi McLendon-Covey took to Twitter to respond to criticisms of the sitcom using a stand-in for Garlin, namely during scenes pivotal to the plot. Garlin’s role was significantly cut down due to an ongoing three-year investigation into HR complaints involving toxic workplace allegations.
Garlin insisted to Vanity Fair in December 2021 that he was “not fired” from the series. Variety later reported that Garlin would not film any new episodes of “The Goldbergs” for Season 9, with his stand-in instead being filmed from the neck down and from the back.
However, the Garlin-less solution for Season 9 has rankled some viewers, with journalist Noel Murray tweeting, “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.”
Actress McLendon-Covey broke her silence on the Garlin allegations in response to Murray, 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.”
McLendon-Covey’s observations seem to be in line with Garlin’s own feelings about the show. Back at a stand-up performance in Los Angeles days after he exited the sitcom last fall, Garlin joked about despising the show and how he was only part of it for the paycheck.
Garlin, who also famously stars in HBO’s long-running meta-sitcom “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” formerly categorized his on-set behavior as “silliness” in the Vanity Fair interview.
“They don’t think it’s appropriate. I do. That’s where we’re at,” Garlin said at the time. “I’ve not been fired because of it. We just think differently.”
Garlin will continue to appear in the rest of the season by “using off-camera dialogue pulled from earlier episodes and unused takes, as well as previously shot images of Garlin,” per Variety. To note, Garlin would continue to be paid per episode appearance.
A representative for Sony had no comment. ABC did not respond to a request for comment, nor did representatives for Garlin, at the time of publication.
Season 9 of “The Goldbergs” was recently expanded from 18 to 22 episodes, and the comedy has yet to be renewed for Season 10.
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.
— Wendi McLendon-Covey (@wendimclendonco) March 15, 2022