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Jeff Garlin departs ‘The Goldbergs’ after reports of HR investigations

Jeff Garlin, left, appears alongside co-star Sean Giambrone in a recent episode of “The Goldbergs.” (Scott Everett White/ABC)
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Actor Jeff Garlin has left “The Goldbergs,” according to an ABC representative.

News of Garlin’s departure first appeared in Deadline, which reported Wednesday night that he had faced “multiple misconduct allegations and HR investigations” on set. Another employee of the ABC sitcom described Garlin to the industry news website as “extremely verbally and emotionally abusive.”

A source close to the production who spoke on the condition of anonymity told The Washington Post that it was a mutual decision for Garlin to leave “The Goldbergs.” Sony Pictures Television, which produces the series, declined to comment on the development. Garlin’s representatives haven’t returned The Post’s inquiry.

“The Goldbergs,” which is in its ninth season, has not yet been renewed for another.

Just three weeks ago, Vanity Fair’s Maureen Ryan interviewed Garlin for an extensive piece that ran online earlier this month. He spoke at length about the allegations — which, in addition to the accusations of verbal abuse, also included claims that he would touch or hug co-workers without their consent — and attributed much of his behavior to a comedian making jokes. He described HR complaints as “about me and my silliness on set.”

At the time, Garlin stated outright that he hadn’t been fired from “The Goldbergs.” He said he was in contact with Sony, and that he and the producers were “trying to come to a place where we come to an agreement.”

At a particularly tense point in the interview, after Garlin insisted he treated his co-workers with respect, Ryan pointed out that some of them had gone to HR and reported feeling uncomfortable or “demeaned.”

“When I say I respect people, it’s like, ‘Let me know what you want to be called. Let me know what your boundaries are.’ And I will [honor them]," Garlin responded. “I don’t do general boundaries, except for common decency. Other than that, I don’t. I’m a comedian and I’m sorry, but boundaries are meant to be broken.”

Garlin denied participating in or witnessing sexist behavior on set, but noted that he often says, “Oh, my vagina” as a joke when he stands up. When Ryan expressed that several people told her he once sent a co-worker a text suggesting she attend a table-read wearing only underwear, Garlin replied, “If I wrote something like that, it had to do with something that was going on, and it wasn’t anything sexual.”

Toward the end of the conversation, Garlin acknowledged that, as one of the ABC sitcom’s lead actors and as a producer on the popular HBO series “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” he operates from a position of power. As such, he continued, he tried to treat everyone around him with “kindness and respect.”

“I also feel free to joke around with them, and clearly some of my jokes are missing, and I have hurt people,” he said. “And that makes me sad.”

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