Last week, there was some unexpected news concerning an actor most people assume is jolly and laidback: Jeff Garlin agreed to leave The Goldbergs, the long-time sitcom set in the ‘80s amongst a Philadelphia outskirts family (that has nothing to do with actor Adam Goldberg). The reason? Some on-set behavior that left cast and crew so uncomfortable that he’d been approached by HR three separate times. The movie left people wondering how they would handle the departure of the brood’s patriarch. Well, now we know.
As per Variety, Garlin’s Murray will stay on the show — through creative editing. The team will use “off-camera dialogue pulled from earlier episodes and unused takes, as well as previously shot images of Garlin.” What there won’t be are deepfakes, that incredibly dangerous tool that makes digital fakery look scarily real, and which could easily be used for nefarious real-life purposes. (Seriously, please stop using it.)
Garlin will be rewarded for…well, nothing, exactly. But if they’re going to use older footage of him to fabricate new storylines, then he ought to be compensated. This isn’t entirely new. As Variety points out, Garlin’s stand-in “has already been used, shot from the back, in group scenes since his departure.”
Besides, The Goldbergs had been phasing Murray out somewhat. By the end, Garlin was only working one day a week. When he was there, however, he reportedly kept doing things like using one word in particular that people didn’t like hearing:
Overall, Garlin’s go-to jokes that a number of people on the show found offensive were talking about grandma’s vagina, balls and brassier, a co-worker said. Additionally, he would not address some longtime female crew members by name, using instead nicknames that some also considered offensive.
Garlin also reportedly swore at his double’s wife, which launched the HR investigation that has ended with him being asked to leave — and yet still remain, sort of, through the magic of editing. Let’s hope they do a better job than the editor of the Radioactive Man movie from The Simpsons.
Still, perhaps he’ll still be on that final season of Curb Your Enthusiasm.