Goodbye, Murray. Jeff Garlin’s character has been killed off The Goldbergs following an on-set investigation into the actor’s behavior, the showrunners revealed.
“[Garlin is] not going to be on the season, obviously. [Murray] will have passed, and we are sort of starting from a place of multiple months removed from his death,” co-showrunner Alex Barnow told Entertainment Weekly in an interview published on Tuesday, August 30. “The family has already grieved, unlike [with] Pops [George Segal] and the premiere of season 9 where [Pops died and] they’re dealing with it sort of very freshly. This is going to be a family that has not reconciled the fact that their father’s gone but has sort of moved on and has dealt with a lot of that.”
Garlin left The Goldbergs in December 2021 after human resources conducted an investigation into his alleged inappropriate behavior on the set of the ABC sitcom.
“No, I was not fired from The Goldbergs. I have not been fired from The Goldbergs,” the comedian, 60, told Vanity Fair in early December before his departure was announced. (Weeks later, a producer spoke with The Hollywood Reporter and claimed that Garlin’s exit was a mutual decision between him and ABC’s parent company, Sony.)
The investigation into the Curb Your Enthusiasm actor’s behavior was based on an alleged “pattern of verbal and physical conduct that made people uncomfortable,” which he denied at the time.
“There was no … Nothing physical by any stretch of the imagination. And the verbal part was a joke that was completely missed — because I like this guy. I like his wife. I’ve worked with them for years,” the Emmy nominee told Vanity Fair, referring to an alleged moment in which he told the woman and her husband to get “the f—k out of his way” while on set. (The incident reportedly occurred after the woman formally complained about Garlin’s alleged use of the word “vagina.” The actor reportedly repeated the word to her face after hearing about her complaint.)
“How I suddenly wake up one day and I don’t like them — I don’t get that. I will say the joke was missed and I apologize to him,” Garlin told Vanity Fair at the time. “If someone misses a joke, that’s unfortunate to me. I don’t like it.”
As for how Murray’s death factors into season 10, “We’re starting with optimism about [Erica and Geoff’s] baby coming and looking forward to the future. It’s an opportunity for this interesting emotional basis for the way people are behaving,” Barnow shared with EW. “But Jeff won’t be in the series this year, and so far the stories have been largely about looking forward rather than looking back.”
When it comes to Garlin’s reaction to the news, “The truth is, I don’t know if he knows what his fate is,” the Goldbergs exec revealed. “I’m assuming he knows. … We haven’t had a subsequent conversation since the beginning of writing that he would have any specific clarity on that.” Barnow did reveal, however, that the Babylon actor is “aware he’s not being replaced.”
Co-showrunner Chris Bishop added: “It honestly feels like a huge reboot for us. So we have tons of momentum rolling into this new season.”
Season 10 of The Goldbergs premieres on ABC Wednesday, September 21.