The Goldbergs Star: Killing Off Jeff Garlin’s Murray Was “A Long Time Coming”

The Goldbergs already mourned the death of patriarch Murray, but actress Wendi McLendon-Covey has no love lost for on-screen husband Jeff Garlin. In 2021, the longtime Murray Goldberg actor exited the long-running ABC sitcom ahead of its tenth and final season in the wake of an HR investigation into the comedian’s alleged on-set inappropriate behavior. The Goldberg family has already moved on — the show killed off Garlin’s character between seasons 9 and 10 — and in a new interview, McLendon-Covey says she’s done publicly discussing the matter because she’s “exhausted by everything” and “the PTSD of it all.”

“That was a long time coming,” McLendon-Covey said on Andy Cohen Live. “That it finally happened, it was like, ‘Okay, okay. Finally, someone is listening to us.'” The Beverly Goldberg actress added it was “kind of hard” losing Murray not long after the show had to write in the real-life death of George Segal’s Pops.

“We had lost George Segal in real life, and then to have to go through another loss — on a sitcom, you can’t keep asking your audience to mourn people,” she said. “That’s not why they tune in.”

When Cohen asked McLendon-Covey to confirm that Garlin’s departure was a culmination of multiple misconduct investigations and not unexpected, she said, “Yes. And if we can not talk about that… I’m exhausted by that topic and the PTSD of it all [laughs]. I feel like the less people know about that, the better. No one benefits from knowing anything.”

In response to his allegations of inappropriate conduct, Garlin defended his behavior — including jokingly repeating the phrase “oh, my vagina” in front of cast and crew — as “silly.” An anonymous Goldbergs employee refuted Garlin’s claims, countering that the actor was “extremely verbally and emotionally abusive” on set.

“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,” Garlin told Vanity Fair. “I am sorry to tell you that there really is no big story. Unless you want to do a story about political correctness.”

The Goldbergs will end after 10 seasons and air its series finale May 3rd on ABC.