Actor Jeff Garlin, known for his roles in “The Goldbergs” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” revealed this week that he has bipolar disorder.
“Bipolar is a mother—,” Garlin wrote in an Instagram post with a photo of comedy legend Jack Benny reacting to an issue of Mad Magazine. “Sometimes it’s just too much to deal with. I’m doing the best I can. This the first time that I’ve opened up about this.”
Garlin, who played family patriarch Murray Goldberg in “The Goldbergs,” abruptly left the sitcom in December in the middle of its ninth season amid a three-year human-resources investigation into his on-set behavior after several employees on the show filed complaints. The sitcom is one of ABC’s highest-performing shows.
Garlin and Sony Pictures Television, which produces the show, had reached a mutual agreement for his departure.
Vanity Fair reported that same month that Garlin had allegedly engaged in a pattern of verbal and physical conduct that made some of his co-workers uncomfortable.
He was accused of behaving in a demeaning or unprofessional manner and using language that some considered inappropriate and degrading to women. Garlin also reportedly touched or hugged people on set regardless of whether they were comfortable with it, according to complaints by three former “Goldbergs” employees.
“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,’” one source who worked with Garlin told Vanity Fair.
In the same Vanity Fair article, Garlin dismissed the accusations as “silliness” and people missing his jokes, and also denied any accusations of physical misconduct.
“I make mistakes, sure. But my comedy is about easing people’s pain,” Garlin said at the time. “Why would I ever want to cause pain in anybody for a laugh? That’s bullying. That’s just uncalled for.”
He also admitted to hugging people but said he was not aware of how others felt about his behavior.
“If I’m making somebody feel bad because of that and feel uncomfortable, that is wrong,” Garlin said, but added that those around him have the responsibility to say so.
To deal with Garlin’s exit, “The Goldberg” showrunners decided to kill off his character. The long-running comedy premiered its 10th season Wednesday night.
“[Murray] will have passed, and we are sort of starting from a place of multiple months removed from his death,” showrunners Chris Bishop and Alex Barnow told Entertainment Weekly in August. “The family has already grieved. … This is going to be a family that has not reconciled the fact that their father’s gone but has sort of moved on and has dealt with a lot of that. … It’s an opportunity for this interesting emotional basis for the way people are behaving. But Jeff won’t be in the series this year, and so far the stories have been largely about looking forward rather than looking back.”
Despite the scandal, Garlin has continued to find work in Hollywood, reprising his role as Larry David’s manger in the HBO series “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” which was renewed for a 12th season this year and is expected to begin filming this fall.
He also landed a supporting role in Damien Chazelle’s upcoming period comedy-drama “Babylon,” which follows a young actor pursuing a career in 1920s Hollywood and is set for a Christmas release.