As Deadline reported on November 14, almost a week after the first accusation surfaced, writers on the culturally sensitive show started working on stories that did not included Tambor’s character Maura Pfefferman. That exercise has continued in more recent weeks to varying degrees, and it has taken on a more concrete form as Amazon has still not exercised picking up Tambor’s contract option for Season 5 of the Jill Soloway-created series. Options for other core cast members Gaby Hoffman, Jay Duplass, Judith Light and Amy Landecker have already been picked up, I hear.
“No final decision for next year has been made, either by Jeffrey or by Amazon,” a spokesperson for Tambor told media outlets Wednesday.
Despite those recent attempts by Tambor to walk back his November 19 pronouncement that “I don’t see how I can return to Transparent” after two members of the series came forward with allegations against the actor, two other factors may make his apparent exit inevitable: time and deduction.
After losing an investigator, Amazon was delayed for most of last month in progressing with the announced probe into claims by Tambor’s former assistant and transgender actress Van Barnes and Transparent semi-regular Trace Lysette, I’ve learned. Although a new investigator was brought aboard after a bit, scheduling issues with Barnes and other matters prevented the investigation from picking up the pace until after Thanksgiving.
Lystette and Transparent writer Our Lady J have both advocated removing Tambor from the show. After praising Lysette for her “leadership,” the transgender scribe said online November 17 that “we cannot let trans content be taken down by a single cis man.”
Another accusation of sexual harassment was made against Tambor on November 22, but that is unrelated to his time on Transparent.
As it is, the Amazon investigation into the two claims Tambor strongly denies has now jumped fully into gear again, though it could take a few more weeks to wrap things up, with time ticking as plans and scripts are penciled in.
At this point, before the investigation draws its conclusions, the best possible outcome for Tambor could be one that sees his character make a minor appearance in an upcoming season — and even that looks thin.
Neither Soloway nor Amazon responded to request for comment today.