It seems there’s a deeper truth as to why T.J. Miller left HBO’s Silicon Valley. Miller—who played Erlich Bachman—touted his exit as a natural ending of his character. However, the show’s creator Mike Judge had a slightly different account of what happened.
“There are a lot of different ways you can find out somebody doesn’t want to do the show anymore,” Judge said in a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter. “And it’s not fun to work with someone who doesn’t want to be there, [especially when] they’re one of the main people and you’ve got however many crew members and extras and people who are [not paid as well] and they’re all showing up before 7 a.m. ... It just wasn’t working.”
Season five will be the first without Miller, who, last summer, told The Hollywood Reporter that Erlich “disappeared into the ether. And he did it at a time when no one was sick of him, when he had worn thin but not worn out.”
Miller also called Silicon Valley writer Alec Berg—who is best known for his work with Seinfeld—a “fucking idiot” because he went to Harvard. Miller continued, “Comedy writers in Hollywood are fucking Harvard graduates and that’s why they’re smug as a bug.” Apparently, overcoming Berg was a challenge for Miller. Miller declined to appear in season five, where he was offered three episodes for Erlich’s send-off.
According to Judge, Miller would reportedly fall asleep on set if he even showed up, and another insider called Miller a “danger” to the show. In the same interview as Judge, Miller told The Hollywood Reporter, “In real life, I’m not always high like Erlich is. And this will blow your readers’ minds, but I’m not high when I work because it gets in the way of the comedy. I also am not a guy who’s blackout-drunk, bumping into things on set. ... What was occurring was I was out doing stand-up all the time, even if it meant I only got three hours of sleep. So, the thing I have a problem with? It’s pushing myself to do too much.”
It doesn’t seem like Silicon Valley will be missing Miller too much. “There is no question that T.J. is really funny and that Erlich was really funny,” Judge said, but “I think there was only one time in the room where it was like, ‘Oh, that would’ve been a good thing for Erlich.’”
Allegations against Miller surfaced in December 2017, when the Daily Beast reported that in 2003, he physically and sexually assaulted a former college classmate he dated during his years at George Washington University.