EXCLUSIVE, UPDATED with Jill Soloway statement: More than three months after first being accused of sexual harassment on the set of Transparent, Jeffrey Tambor is now officially off the Amazon series. While it remains unclear whether the upcoming fifth season of the Emmy-winning Jill Soloway-created show will be its last, it is clear that Tambor will not be part of the new season, I’ve learned.
With the investigation by Amazon into multiple allegations of misconduct by the Golden Globe and Emmy winner completed recently, the decision to cut Tambor was made in the past week.
This, of course, comes after Tambor, who plays Maura Pfefferman on the barrier-shattering series, said on November 19 that “I don’t see how I can return to Transparent,” citing the growing claims against him and “the politicized atmosphere that seems to have afflicted our set.” The actor and his reps then tried to walk back that declaration after it was widely viewed as an exit from the series.
Today, Amazon confirmed to Deadline that Tambor is not coming back and that the harassment investigation was concluded. No results of the investigation were unveiled, but sources tell me Tambor’s behavior “could not be justified or excused under scrutiny.”
“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,” Soloway said 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,” she added. “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.”
Reps for Tambor did not respond to request for comment today.
With the Amazon probe paused for a few weeks late last year after the company lost their investigator amid more and more allegations emerging across Hollywood, Tambor’s fate seemed clear by the end of 2017 as his contract was not picked up for a Season 5. Fellow core cast members Gaby Hoffman, Jay Duplass, Judith Light and Amy Landecker were all renewed with the show, as Soloway and her writing team pondered ways in which Tambor’s character could or could not play a part in a fifth season. That effort took another step last month when the scribes looked at what they had compiled so far and what form and with whom a new season would take.
Obviously, with no particulars on how Tambor’s primary character will be written out, they found a Maura-less path.
In November, transgender actresses Van Barnes and Trace Lysette came forward with allegations of harassment against Tambor. The actor issued a statement of apology soon afterwards, saying he was “deeply sorry if any action of mine was ever misinterpreted by anyone as being sexually aggressive.” With his on-set behavior under examination, Tambor added at the time: “I know I haven’t always been the easiest person to work with. I can be volatile and ill-tempered, and too often I express my opinions harshly and without tact. But I have never been a predator – ever.”
Less than a day after Lysette’s claims went public, Transparent writer and producer Our Lady J became the first and only member of the series to back both accusers publicly. Thanking Lysette for her “leadership,” the transgender scribe added on November 17, “We cannot let trans content be taken down by a single cis man.”
On November 22, Tamara Delbridge became the third and the first non-transgender individual to accuse Tambor. The then-makeup assistant detailed how Tambor forcibly kissed her on the set of the 2001 film Never Again.
“I have absolutely no recollection of anything like this incident ever happening,” Tambor said in response to that allegation. “If it did, it wasn’t meant as anything more than an enthusiastic farewell and gratitude for a job well done at the end of a shoot. However, I am deeply sorry for any discomfort or offense I may have inadvertently caused her.”
Like the also accused House of Cards star Kevin Spacey, Tambor is now a stranger to his own show.