Jeffrey Tambor Departs 'Transparent' Amid Sexual Harrassment Accusations
Tambor told Deadline today, "Playing Maura Pfefferman on Transparent has been one of the greatest privileges and creative experiences of my life.” The actor, who took home two Emmys and a Golden Globe for the role, also said, “what has become clear over the past weeks, however, is that this is no longer the job I signed up for four years ago.”
Sophia Bush, Bethany Joy Lenz, Hilarie Burton and others released a letter Monday detailing Schwahn's behavior on the set of the CW drama.
“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 continued. “Given the politicized atmosphere that seems to have afflicted our set, I don’t see how I can return to Transparent.”
Earlier this month, Tambor was accused by his former assistant/transgender actress Van Barnes of implied inappropriate behavior including groping, lewd comments and threats if Barnes went public about what happened between them. Last week, transgender actress Trace Lysette, who has appeared on Transparent over the years in a recurring role, shared similar allegations that she had endured when working with the actor.
In response to the accusations, Tambor said, "For the past four years, I’ve had the huge privilege — and huge responsibility – of playing Maura Pfefferman, a transgender woman, in a show that I know has had an enormous, positive impact on a community that has been too long dismissed and misunderstood. Now I find myself accused of behavior that any civilized person would condemn unreservedly.”
He added, "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. 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.”
The fourth season of Transparent aired in September on Amazon and while the show hasn't officially been picked up for a fifth season, the assumption was that the show would be continuing. With the actor's departure, time will tell the show's future without the core character of Tambor's Maura Pfefferman, a newly transitioned woman adjusting to her new life along with her children (Amy Landecker, Jay Duplass, Gaby Hoffman) and ex-wife, Shelley (Judith Light).