Actor Jeffrey Tambor, who played transgender mother Maura Pfefferman on the Amazon's critically acclaimed television show Transparent, is facing a round of allegations pertaining to sexual misconduct. Tambor denies that any wrongdoing occurred but will be leaving the program, citing the show's “politicized atmosphere” in the wake of the growing scandal.
Deadline released Tambor's statement on the matter: “Playing Maura Pfefferman on Transparent has been one of the greatest privileges and creative experiences of my life,” he 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 ... 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.”
Although Tambor's character had been a protagonist in the series, the plot seemed to be moving in a direction away from that storyline, meaning the shift may or may not require a massive restructuring of the entire program.
Van Barnes, a transgender assistant of Tambor's, said in a private Facebook post (without naming Tambor specifically) that the actor had propostioned her, made inappropriate comments, had groped her non-consensually, and had threatened her should she consider going public with the story.
Tambor had emphatically denied that those events occurred: “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,” he said. “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. I am appalled and distressed by this baseless allegation.”'
Amazon promised a full investigation into the situation.
“Anything that would diminish the level of respect, safety and inclusion so fundamental to our workplace is completely antithetical to our principles,” said Jill Soloway, the show's creator, in a statement. “We are cooperating with the investigation into this matter.”
Later in November, a second accuser would come forward with similar stories. Actress Trace Lysette told the Hollywood Reporter that Tambor had made inappropriate physical contact and said he wanted “to attack” her “sexually” while they filmed a scene together in the second season.
The show's producers have asked for additional time for the project in the hopes of figuring out how the show can continue without it's lead.
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