Jeffrey Tambor, who played Maura Pfefferman on Amazon’s multiple award-winning drama series “Transparent,” has exited the series amid allegations of sexual harassment against him.
Tambor was accused of sexual harassment by his former personal assistant, a trans woman named Van Barnes, in a private Facebook post on November 8th which caused Amazon to open an investigation.
On Thursday, guest star Trace Lysette came forward with further allegations of inappropriate behavior. In a statement released following that allegation, 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.
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.”
In a new statement today to Variety, the actor talks about his exit from the show:
“Playing Maura Pfefferman on ‘Transparent’ has been one of the greatest privileges and creative experiences of my life. What has become clear over the past weeks, however, is that this is no longer the job I signed up for four years ago.
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.’
The writers room, led by new showrunner Jill Gordon, is still in the process of planning the fifth season due late next year. The team had already begun planning a way to continue the show without Tambor once the allegations broke, but no final decision about next season has been made by Amazon.