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‘The Goldbergs’ Co-Star Wendi McLendon-Covey Defends CGI Jeff Garlin: ‘We’re Doing Our Best’

”It’s hard to incorporate someone who doesn’t want to be there and wants to leave mid-scene,“ the actress replied on Twitter

Actor Jeff Garlin may no longer be part of the cast of the ABC comedy series “The Goldbergs,” but criticism is still coming the show’s way even after his abrupt exit. In December, Garlin left the TV series after numerous complaints to HR about his behavior, which included “verbal and physical conduct on set that made people uncomfortable,” according to a scathing Vanity Fair article published just before his exit.

But Garlin’s character, patriarch Murray Goldberg, remains a part of the series via the use of stand-ins and previously recorded dialogue. In a recent episode, however, the camera cut to a stand-in whose face had been digitally replaced with a crude CGI rendering of Garlin, drawing criticism.

When a tweet criticizing the show’s workarounds to Garlin’s absence started making the rounds, co-star Wendi McLendon-Covey decided to step in and respond with candor. “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 weren’t about to re-write the 2nd half of the season,” McLendon-Covey responded. “We’re doing our best.”

Now in its ninth season, “The Goldberg” was rocked not only by Garlin’s exit but the unexpected death of George Segal in March 2021, who played the father of McLendon-Covey’s character.

In January, ABC ordered an additional four episodes of “The Goldbergs” to bring its current season total up to 22, but an official decision on renewal or cancelation has not been announced.