Following mounting accusations of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior, Emmy-winning actor Jeffrey Tambor has decided to exit the Amazon show “Transparent.” Tambor starred on the critically-acclaimed show playing Maura Pfefferman, the trans matriarch of the Pfefferman family that included members played by Gaby Hoffmann, Jay Duplass, Amy Landecker, Judith Light, and extended players like Kathryn Hahn.
“Playing Maura Pfefferman on ‘Transparent’ has been one of the greatest privileges and creative experiences of my life, Tambor told Deadline today. “What has become clear over the past weeks, however, is that this is no longer the job I signed up for four years ago.”
Just a few days ago, Tambor‘s former assistant Van Barnes accused him of making lewd comments, groping her and threatening to sue her if she spoke up. The actor strenuously denied the claims. On November 16, transgender ‘Transparent’ semi-regular Trace Lysette alleged that the actor made lewd, sexual and unwelcomed remarks while they worked together. Lysette also claimed that Tambor became “physical” and recommended that Amazon and series creator Jill Soloway “remove the problem and let the show go on.”
“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,” Tambor added in his exit interview. “Given the politicized atmosphere that seems to have afflicted our set, I don’t see how I can return to ‘Transparent.’”
The actor did, however, acknowledge some bad behavior on set, but never of a sexual, physical or harassing nature. “I know I haven’t always been the easiest person to work with,” he said. “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.”
Following the accusations, “Transparent” writers and Jill Soloway were considering writing Tambor’s Maura character out of the show, but it appears that the actor has made that decision for everyone (though some legal and contract issues likely need to be resolved before it’s 100% official).
“Transparent” came out of the gate as a critical darling when it premiered in 2014, winning two Golden Globe awards for the first season of the series—Best Musical or Comedy TV series and Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy for Tambor—and Tambor world also go on to win the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series. The fourth season of “Transparent” premiered September 22, 2017 and the fifth season, while renewed, will obviously require a serious rethink now.