Jeffrey Tambor to Appear in Arrested Development Season 5 After Alleged Sexual Harassment on Transparent Set
The actor was ousted from the hit Amazon series after his co-workers came forward with sexual harassment allegations
While the #MeToo movement continues to call out the shameful actions of powerful men, some actors seem impervious to the fallout. For every Casey Affleck there’s a Gary Oldman, and for every Cosby and Polanski, there remains a Woody Allen. One such exception: Jeffrey Tambor, who is set to return to television in the upcoming fifth season of Arrested Development on Netflix.
Tambor joins the new season after he was removed from the hit Amazon series Transparent after sexual harassment and assault allegations were brought forward by his co-star Trace Lysette and former assistant Van Barnes. After an internal investigation by Amazon, showrunner and creator Jill Soloway released a statement on Tambor’s firing, saying, “We are taking definitive action to ensure our workplace respects the safety and dignity of every individual, and are taking steps to heal as a family.” Transparent will return for a season five, and we don’t yet know what will become of Tambor’s lead character Maura Pfefferman, the eponymous “transparent” of the series.
Meanwhile, Tambor is confirmed to reprise his role as embattled patriarch George Bluth, Sr. in Netflix’s upcoming new season of the cult series. David Cross, who co-stars in the series as Tambor’s son-in-law Tobias Fünke, has expressed support for Tambor, saying, “I can’t speak for everybody, but I know there are a number of us who stand behind him…from the limited amount we know, we stand behind Jeffrey — and I am one of them.” Cross has also been called out on harassment claims, most notably from comedian Charlyne Yi.
Arrested Development cast member Alia Shawkat, who plays Cross’s on-screen daughter Maeby Fünke, released a statement in support of the victims saying, “It’s not about sharing my personal opinion of him…What those victims said needs to be heard just as much. And that’s the facts, that’s just the truth of it. And they can’t be squashed down because of something else. But it is also, you know, it is sad, too.”
The allegations of Tambor’s behavior shone an important light on the rampant assault and harassment that trans women endure in society. It isn’t surprising that Transparent, a show that prides itself on showcasing marginalized people in front of and behind the camera, would be quick to terminate Tambor’s employment. However, it is disappointing and unacceptable that the showrunners of Arrested Development and the executives at Netflix are less concerned. Choices like this one keep the #MeToo Movement in a frustrating state of two steps forward, one step back.
(via Deadline Hollywood, image: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
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