When Jeff Garlin exited "The Goldbergs" midway through the current season, the creatives behind the scene had to get, well, creative with how the show would handle his absence.
After one TV reporter criticized the route they wound up taking this week, costar Wendi McLendon-Covey jumped into his mentions and defended what they've done so far.
"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," tweeted one reporter, along with a clip from the show's recent wedding episode for Hayley Orrantia's character, Erica Goldberg.
In the footage, Garlin appears briefly -- looking very much out of place -- before being relegated to the background with his head cut off or shot from the back for most of the ceremony. It ends with an awkward cutaway of him smiling alongside Sean Giambrone.
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.
"Thanks for the great suggestion," McLendon-Covey responded on Twitter. "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."
She added, "We're doing our best."
When the actor's exit was announced in December 2021, Variety reported that producers would use a combination of his stand-in for group shots, lines of dialogue that have already been recorded spoken off-camera, from prior episodes and unused or alternate takes. The site also reported that the actor had his head superimposed on his stand-in's body in the past for promo materials -- something which appears to be the case in this footage.
Garlin and producers reportedly came to mutual agreement for him to step away from the series last year, following allegations of inappropriate behavior on set. So far, Garlin, ABC and Sony Television -- which produces the series -- have not commented on his exit.
Before his departure, he admitted in an interview with Vanity Fair that he'd been the subject of HR investigations for three years running, and seemed dismissive of the complaints that had been filed against him.
The show was reportedly filming episodes 15 and 16 at the time of his exit, with a season order of 22 episodes. The wedding episode was the show's 15th of the season. According to The Hollywood Reporter, plans were already underway to write Garlin's character out of the show should it be picked up for Season 10.
Season 9 is currently airing Wednesdays on ABC. It has not yet been officially picked up for Season 10.