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Jeff Garlin says "I have not been fired from The Goldbergs" amid allegations of on-set misbehavior

  • Garlin was responding to a rumor that Vanity Fair's Maureen Ryan was hearing that Garlin had been fired from the ABC sitcom. "No, I was not fired from The Goldbergs. I have not been fired from The Goldbergs," Garlin told Ryan last week. Ryan reports in Vanity Fair: "According to three former Goldbergs employees I talked to, Garlin—who plays the gruff but loving dad on the sitcom—allegedly engaged in a pattern of verbal and physical conduct on set that made people uncomfortable. (One of the sources said that those behaviors did not make them uncomfortable personally, but that they were aware that others found it demeaning or unprofessional.) In addition to using language some found inappropriate, sources said Garlin would touch or hug people whether or not they were comfortable with that contact. As one source said, 'He got away with it because he would call himself out for it—saying he was a big teddy bear, saying things like, "Oh you know me, just a big bowl of mush, I’m a hugger. I just love you."'" ABC declined to comment on Garlin's behavior, while Sony Pictures Television said “the well-being of our cast and crew is of utmost importance to us. This is an employment matter and it is being addressed by HR and production.” In the interview, Garlin admitted that "HR has come to me three years in a row for my behavior on set," adding: "I’m not going to go over it because I don’t want to, but basically a lot of things that I disagree with—that are silly. If I said something silly and offensive, and I’m working at an insurance company, I think it’s a different situation. If I, as the star of the show, demanded a gun range and on set, and I was firing guns every day and I was a little bit loose—to me, that’s an unsafe work atmosphere. If I threatened people, that’s an unsafe work atmosphere. None of that goes on ever with me. That’s not who I am. I am sorry to tell you that there really is no big story. Unless you want to do a story about political correctness." Asked about The Goldberg crew members who felt demeaned and disrespected, Garlin replied: "I gotta be honest with you. I don’t even know how to respond to that, because as a comedian, if somebody is offended by what I say I, all I can say is, I’m sorry. Okay? I have never physically come at anyone, for any reason, so that I find terribly confusing and untrue. Look, I’ve discussed this with the main crew. The camera department, the sound department, the lighting department, and all of these people who worked on my own movie—I did a movie for Netflix called Handsome—never have any problems. There was nothing. So whoever it is that feels this way has it out for me. That’s my true belief. I would never physically put myself to someone. And I would never hatefully say something to anyone." Asked about workplace boundaries, Garlin said: "It’s always the same thing. It’s about me and my silliness on set. They don’t think it’s appropriate. I do. That’s where we’re at. I’ve not been fired because of it. We just think differently. Now when I’m at Curb Your Enthusiasm, for example, if I’m not doing the things that we’re talking about, Larry David—or a cameraman, the producer, who’s a woman—lots of people come up to me and ask me if I’m okay. I need to do what I need to do to keep my energy up and do what I do. So I don’t know what to say. To me, if you’re a stand-in on a show and you don’t like the content or the behavior... If someone’s going after you, that’s different. But in terms of in general—well, then by God, quit, go someplace else." As for his future on The Goldbergs, Garlin said: "We’re trying to come to a place where we come to an agreement. Either I can behave the way (they want) or not. We’ll see, but I’m not being fired and I’ve not been fired. We’re in the middle of talking about what we’re going to do, but there will not be a firing. I will work more on The Goldbergs, just to let you know, I’m in contact with Sony. I will be shooting more days on the show. When I do shoot more days, just to make it go smooth, I will not be doing any of my silly stuff or anything, out of respect. I’m just going to keep it on the QT, because you know why? They’re my bosses. And they have every right to have the set be the way they want."

    TOPICS: Jeff Garlin, ABC, Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Goldbergs, Sony TV

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