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Jeff Garlin’s ‘Goldbergs’ Absence Inspires Increasingly Awkward Workarounds — and Twitter Snark

Garlin reportedly ceased filming the ABC sitcom after multiple HR complaints were filed against him. Yet Garlin's stand-in is causing a stir on social media.

THE GOLDBERGS - ÒThe ProposalÓ Ð Geoff shares with the JTP that he is planning on asking Erica to marry him and gives them the engagement ring for safekeeping. Like any good romantic comedy, several miscommunications and misunderstandings between Geoff and EricaÕs friends and family result in a potential derailing of the proposal, forcing Adam to step in to keep the coupleÕs special moment alive on the season finale of ÒThe Goldbergs,Ó WEDNESDAY, MAY 19 (8:00-8:30 p.m. EDT), on ABC. (ABC/Temma Hankin)SADIE STANLEY, WENDI MCLENDON-COVEY, STEPHANIE COURTNEY, JENNIFER IRWIN, JEFF GARLIN, BETH TRIFFON, TROY GENTILE

“The Goldbergs”

ABC

There isn’t much enthusiasm to curb for the current season of “The Goldbergs.”

Following the toxic workplace allegations and HR complaints against star Jeff Garlin, “The Goldbergs” appears to have opted to use a stand-in for Garlin’s character. However, longtime fans are calling out the shoddy post-production attempts at smoothing over the behind-the-scenes drama. See a clip below.

With those episodes now airing, fans have taken to social media to criticize the sloppiness of the special effects, especially when it came to a Goldberg family wedding scene during Episode 15 of Season 9.

“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,” journalist Noel Murray tweeted.

Critic Alison Willmore commented, “This is so cursed, and I’ve watched it three times now.”

Garlin insisted to Vanity Fair in a December 3 feature that he was “not fired from ‘The Goldbergs'” despite an ongoing, three-year HR investigation involving accusations of demeaning workplace behavior, especially towards women.

Variety reported in December 2021 that Garlin would not film any new episodes of “The Goldbergs” for Season 9, and his stand-in would be filmed from the neck down and from the back. Additionally, Garlin’s head has previously been “superimposed on the other man’s body” for promotional material.

Variety stated that Garlin could 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.” To note, Garlin would continue to be paid per episode appearance.

Explainer articles titled “Why Does Jeff Garlin Look Weird on ‘The Goldbergs‘?” and “Jeff Garlin’s CGI Presence on ‘The Goldbergs’ Is the Stuff of Nightmares” have also circulated.

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.

As for the “unsafe workplace” allegations, Garlin told Vanity Fair, in his only public acknowledgment of the allegations, “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. 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.”

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