Jeffrey Tambor Announces He's Leaving Transparent Amid Sexual Harassment Allegations
“Playing Maura Pfefferman on Transparent has been one of the greatest privileges and creative experiences of my life,” Tambor told Deadline. “What has become clear over the past weeks, however, is that this is no longer the job I signed up for four years ago.”
He added: “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. Given the politicized atmosphere that seems to have afflicted our set, I don’t see how I can return to Transparent.”
Last week, Amazon began looking into Tambor’s behavior after sexual harassment claims were made against him by a former employee, an Amazon spokesperson confirmed to Entertainment Weekly.
In a statement to Deadline, the Transparent star said: “I am aware that a former disgruntled assistant of mine has made a private post implying that I had acted in an improper manner toward her.”
“I adamantly and vehemently reject and deny any and all implication and allegation that I have ever engaged in any improper behavior toward this person or any other person I have ever worked with,” Tambor, 73, continued. “I am appalled and distressed by this baseless allegation.”
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And on Thursday, allegations were made against Tambor by Transparent actress Trace Lysette.
In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, Lysette claimed that after she had emerged from wardrobe wearing a lingerie top and short-shorts, Tambor had told her he wanted to “attack [her] sexually.” She also claimed the actor had stood on her feet to prevent her from moving as he rubbed up against her and began to make“quick, discreet thrusts back and forth against my body.”
“I laughed it off and rolled my eyes,” Lysette said in the statement. “I had a job to do and I had to do it with Jeffrey, the lead of our show. When they called action, I put that moment in the corner into its own corner of my mind. Compartmentalizing has always been part of my survival took kit, long before I came to Hollywood. It’s sh–ty to admit out loud — and I don’t say it to justify what I went through — but given the journey and circumstances of my life, I was used to being treated as a sexual object by men — this one just happened to be famous.”
Tambor then denied that he had ever “been a predator” in a statement to Entertainment Weekly.
“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,” he wrote.
An Amazon spokesperson told Deadline — who first reported Lysette’s allegations — that the allegations would be addressed in the ongoing investigation into Tambor.