After accusations of sexual harassment by Van Barnes and Trace Lysette, Jeffrey Tambor has decided to quit Amazon’s flagship dramedy series, Transparent, after starring in for four seasons according to a report by Deadline.
“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,” said Tambor. “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.”
There have been reports that the series is considering killing off Tambor’s character, Maura, during the fifth season after the sexual harassment allegations emerged. The writers have already started writing the fifth season before the allegations came to light. Now, given Tambor’s decision to quit the series, their plan to kill off his character might now happen next season. Tambor won two consecutive Emmys for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series for his critically-acclaimed performance of Maura Pfefferman.
Barnes, former assistant and transgender actress, accused Tambor of sexual misconduct in a private post on her Facebook account last November 8. She wrote that he “repeatedly propositioned her, made lewd comments, groped her and threatened to sue her if she spoke up.”
On November 16, actress Lysette accused him of making unwelcomed sexually suggestive remarks to her, as well as “physically [pressing] up against Lysette in a sexually aggressive manner during a break in filming.” She recommended that Amazon and Jill Soloway should “remove the problem and let the show go on.” Tambor denied the claims in which he said: “I am deeply sorry if any action of mine was ever misinterpreted by anyone as being sexually aggressive or if I ever offended or hurt anyone. But the fact is, for all my flaws, I am not a predator and the idea that someone might see me in that way is more distressing than I can express.” Transparent writer and producer Our Lady J publicly backed the accusers.
The fourth season of Transparent was launched last September 22 and it was renewed for a fifth season. Given Tambor’s exit, it means that the fifth season might now possibly focus on Maura’s family played by Judith Light, Gaby Hoffmann, Jay Duplass, and Amy Landecker. It is set to start production and premiere next year.
As for the impact of Tambor’s sexual harassment allegations on the fifth season of Arrested Development, Netflix hasn’t responded yet for the actions that they will take in lieu of this. The season has recently wrapped up filming with plans to release the season by next year. The streaming service notably fired Kevin Spacey from his starring role on House of Cards in response of the sexual harassment allegations against him.