UPDATE: Jeffrey Tambor has responded to being fired from Amazon’s Transparent. Calling the sexual harassment allegations against him “false accusations,” the actor also questioned the handling of the investigation that followed.
“I am profoundly disappointed in Amazon’s handling of these false accusations against me,” he said, via Variety. “I am even more disappointed in Jill Soloway’s unfair characterization of me as someone who would ever cause harm to any of my fellow cast mates. In our four-year history of working together on this incredible show, these accusations have NEVER been revealed or discussed directly with me or anyone at Amazon.
“Therefore, I can only surmise that the investigation against me was deeply flawed and biased toward the toxic politicized atmosphere that afflicted our set,” he continued. “As I have consistently stated, I deeply regret if any action of mine was ever misinterpreted by anyone and I will continue to vehemently defend myself. I also deeply regret that this ground-breaking show, which changed so many lives, is now in jeopardy. That, to me, is the biggest heartbreak.”
Jeffrey Tambor is officially out at Amazon’s popular, acclaimed series Transparent after being hit with multiple allegations of sexual harassment that were reported last November.
Amazon Studios announced its decision Thursday following a months-long internal investigation into Tambor’s behavior both on and off the set, sparked by complaints from costar Trace Lysette and Tambor’s former assistant, Van Barnes.
“I have great respect and admiration for Van Barnes and Trace Lysette, whose courage in speaking out about their experience on Transparent is an example of the leadership this moment in our culture requires,” show runner Jill Soloway said in a statement Thursday. “We are grateful to the many trans people who have supported our vision for Transparent since its inception and remain heartbroken about the pain and mistrust their experience has generated in our community.”
“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,” she concluded.
In November, Lysette told The Hollywood Reporter that Tambor had sexually harassed her on multiple occasions, and even once “got physical” with her; following their physical interaction on set, Lysette said, she felt targeted by Tambor.
“[Working with Tambor] has been a roller coaster,” she said at the time. “One minute Jeffrey is lovely, the next it’s a temper tantrum or flirtation.” Tambor has admitted to being “volatile and ill-tempered” at times, but noted in a statement at the time that he has “never been a predator – ever.”
Tambor’s former assistant, transgender actress Van Barnes, also filed a complaint about the actor’s behavior, claiming that he behaved inappropriately in a private social media post.
At the time, Tambor issued a statement addressing both allegations, saying that he was “deeply sorry if any action of [his] was ever misinterpreted by anyone as being sexually aggressive. … I know I haven’t always been the easiest person to work with.”
Tambor also noted that he felt it would be difficult to continue on in his award-winning role as protagonist Maura Pfefferman given the “politicized atmosphere” of the set.
“Playing Maura Pfefferman on Transparent has been one of the greatest privileges and creative experiences of my life. What has become clear over the past weeks, however, is that this is no longer the job I signed up for four years ago,” he said at the time. “I’ve already made clear my deep regret if any action of mine was ever misinterpreted by anyone as being aggressive, but the idea that I would deliberately harass anyone is simply and utterly untrue. Given the politicized atmosphere that seems to have afflicted our set, I don’t see how I can return to Transparent.”
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Transparent writing staff has already been reworking the upcoming fifth season to continue on without Tambor’s character.