Hours after being pink-slipped from Amazon’s Transparent, Jeffrey Tambor today took aim at series creator Jill Soloway and the Jeff Bezos-run streaming service for its handling of investigating sexual harassment claims against him last year.
“I am profoundly disappointed in Amazon’s handling of these false accusations against me,” the Emmy-winning actor said Thursday. “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”
He added: “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. 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.”
Earlier today, more than three months after first being accused of sexual harassment on the set of the Golden Globe-winning series, Tambor was officially fired following an internal investigation. Amazon did not reveal details of its investigation, but sources say Tambor’s behavior “could not be justified or excused under scrutiny.”
In November, after on-set sexual harassment accusations emerged via claims by transgender actresses Van Barnes and Trace Lysette, Tambor, who plays Maura Pfefferman on the barrier-shattering series, said, “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.” He later walked those comments back when they were construed as him saying he was leaving the show.
Said Soloway today: “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.”
It remains unclear whether the upcoming fifth season of the Soloway-created show will be its last. Fellow core cast members Gaby Hoffman, Jay Duplass, Judith Light and Amy Landecker were all renewed, and the writers had been working to create storylines that did not include the character of Maura.
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