Arrested Development creator and cast show support for Jeffrey Tambor post sexual harassment allegations
There seems to be no bad blood between Arrested Development creator Mitch Hurwitz and cast member Jeffrey Tambor despite the latter being accused of sexual assault by two women
Arrested Development is set to return to Netflix for its fifth season at the end of the month, and its creator Mitch Hurwitz is standing by cast member Jeffrey Tambor despite the latter being recently accused of sexual harassment by his former assistant Van Barnes.
Tambor was earlier accused of sexual harassment by Trace Lysette who was his former co-star on Transparent — the allegation resulted in Tambor getting fired from the Emmy-winning Amazon series. Transparent is coming back for a fifth and final season without him.
The allegations against Tambor came to light right around the time when filming for Arrested Development's season five was wrapping up its production.
In an interview with Etertainment Weekly, Hurwitz said that Tambor could be “difficult” and “a grump” on set every now and then, but never once did Hurwitz get a complaint from the cast and crew about inappropriate behavior from the actor.
“Jeffrey has never evinced that kind of behavior,” Hurwitz said. He also mentioned that the cast and crew “stand with victims of sexual abuse.”
Hurwitz added that he had checked with both Netflix and Amazon, as well as 20th Century Fox, to inquire about charges against Tambor but the companies shared that they never received any complaints. However, after Tambor was fired from Transparent, Amazon did not share any results of the internal investigation that they had carried out before arriving at the decision.
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“Am I going to cut Jeffrey out of the show based on allegations that he disputes, that Amazon hasn’t shared, and that we have never experienced any complains about?” Hurwitz said, “No, of course, I am not going to. I’m going to support Jeffrey.”
Speaking about the timing of the allegations, he said, “We were done shooting, so there was no option of cutting him out of the show, or there would be no show.”
Entertainment Weekly also reported that Tambor’s co-stars Jason Bateman, Will Arnett, and Tony Hale feel the same way as Hurwitz.
Speaking about how the audience would feel of the episodes still starring Tambor, Jason Bateman, who plays Michael Bluth on the show, said he can neither tell, nor should he have to. “You can just do your part, and then you hand it over to the audience,” Bateman said. “It’s up to them what they want to do with it, how they want to think about it, how critics want to review it, and there’s nothing you can do about it. You just watch it go out into the world.”
Jessica Walter was on the receiving end of one of Tambor's outbursts while season five was still in production. Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, she said that she's still “privately processing” her feelings about the way she was “treated by Tambor” but, at the same time, she claimed that she “never saw anything from him that crossed the line” when it comes to sexual harassment.
“I have great empathy for the courage of people who feel they have been harassed in any form speaking out—and sympathy for people who have been unjustly accused,” Walter said. “It’s a very difficult situation for everyone involved.”