Wendi McClendon-Covey is opening up about Jeff Garlin leaving The Goldbergs!
As we’ve covered, the actor quit the show in the middle of season 9 two years ago as an investigation over concerns about his workplace behavior reached a boiling point. His character was then promptly killed off at the start of the next season, giving him no chance to return. It’s been a tough change for the show to navigate (both on and off-camera), but it sounds like the exit may have been for the better.
On Tuesday’s episode of Andy Cohen‘s SiriusXM show, Radio Andy, the actress revealed just how relieved the cast and crew were to have the star depart the popular series. She expressed:
“That was a long time coming. And that it finally happened it was like, ‘OK, OK. Finally, someone is listening to us.’”
Whoa… Goes to show how done they all were with his alleged behavior!
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The 53-year-old, who plays the show’s matriarch, Beverly Goldberg, declined to say more and even asked Andy to move on to a new topic, explaining:
“I feel like the less people know about [Garlin’s allegations], the better. No one, no one benefits from knowing anything.”
Damn! That said, the Blended alum did share she was “exhausted” by “the PTSD of it all” after working with Jeff for so many years and dealing with his sudden departure. Jeez. Sounds like he put his co-workers through a lot…
As we covered, Jeff exited the ABC series in 2021 — reportedly mid-scene! — as HR was looking into his supposedly problematic on-set behavior. According to a Deadline report at the time, he was accused of being “extremely verbally and emotionally abusive” toward co-workers. Garlin himself addressed the drama with Vanity Fair (one month before his exit). He told the outlet one incident involved him using the word “vagina” on set, though he claimed he was just being “silly.” A camera assistant filed a complaint, which resulted in Jeff allegedly retaliating by repeating the word more.
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Another source told the mag the Curb Your Enthusiasm alum abused his power, such as by intimidating, embarrassing, and belittling a couple that works on the show together. Per Jeff, the internal investigation had been going on for three years, he said:
“There has been an HR investigation on me [for] the past three years. HR has come to me three years in a row for my behavior on set.”
He didn’t seem to think much of the allegations, though, adding:
“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.”
And yet, it sounds like the drama did cause his co-workers pain. So much, they don’t even want to think or talk about the past!
Last December, the performer booked his first role post dramatic exit on Mindy Kaling‘s Netflix series Never Have I Ever, shortly after revealing he is bipolar. Meanwhile, The Goldbergs is currently airing its final season, which will conclude on May 3. We’re glad the cast and crew were able to wrap up the series with less alleged misconduct from colleagues. Hear Wendi tactfully address the sticky situation (below).
Thoughts? Let us know in the comments.
[Image via ABC/YouTube]