"He never crossed the line on our show, with any, you know, sexual whatever"
Jessica Walter has said that Arrested Development co-star Jeffrey Tambor “verbally harassed” her on set, but that she is “over it now”.
Tambor was officially dismissed from Amazon series Transparent earlier this year, after facing a series of sexual harassment allegations relating to his time on the show. He was accused by personal assistant Van Barnes, with co-star Trace Lysette also coming forward to level accusations against Tambor.
It was confirmed earlier this month that Tambor will appear in the new season of Arrested Development despite the allegations. Arrested Development season 5 will premiere on Netflix next week (May 29). Watch a trailer for the new season here.
- Read more: Arrested Development’s 10 best episodes
In a new feature in The New York Times, Tambor says that he “surely hopes” that he’ll be part of any future seasons of the show.
“I had a temper and I yelled at people and I hurt people’s feelings,” the actor admits. “And that’s unconscionable, and I’m working on it and I’m going to put that behind me, and I love acting.”
Later, Walter reveals that Tambor has apologised for his behaviour towards her, adding that Tambor “never crossed the line” sexually on the set of Arrested Development.
“Let me just say one thing that I just realised in this conversation. I have to let go of being angry at him,” Walter says. “He never crossed the line on our show, with any, you know, sexual whatever. Verbally, yes, he harassed me, but he did apologise. I have to let it go. And I have to give [Tambor] a chance to, you know, for us to be friends again.”
Walter continues: “But it’s hard because honestly… In like almost 60 years of working, I’ve never had anybody yell at me like that on a set. And it’s hard to deal with, but I’m over it now. “
Asked whether she has any reservations about working with Tambor again, Walter replies: “Of course not. No. I’ve just given it up. And you know, there’s something really, really freeing about that now. I realize that. I don’t want to walk around with anger. I respect him as an actor. We’ve known each other for years and years and years. No, no, no, no. Of course, I would work with him again in a heartbeat.”
Elsewhere, co-star Jason Bateman says that he “won’t do” another season of the Arrested Development without Tambor and that “there’s no reason he shouldn’t” return to the show.
Bateman goes on: “This is a family and families, you know, have love, laughter, arguments — again, not to belittle it, but a lot of stuff happens in 15 years. I know nothing about Transparent but I do know a lot about Arrested Development. And I can say that no matter what anybody in this room has ever done — and we’ve all done a lot, with each other, for each other, against each other — I wouldn’t trade it for the world and I have zero complaints.”
Arguing that there’s a lot of “difficult” people in the entertainment industry, Alia Shawkat replies: “But that doesn’t mean it’s acceptable. And the point is that things are changing, and people need to respect each other differently.”
Bateman adds: “What we do for a living is not normal, and therefore the process is not normal sometimes, and to expect it to be normal is to not understand what happens on set. Again, not to excuse it, Alia, but to be surprised by people having a wobbly route to their goal, their process — it’s very rarely predictable. All I can say, personally, is I have never learned more from an actor that I’ve worked with than Jeffrey Tambor. And I consider him one of my favourite, most valued people in my life.”
Meanwhile, David Cross says Tambor has “learned from the experience and he’s listening and learning and growing”.
Tambor himself says: “I love these people, and Netflix has been so supportive and Mitch has been so supportive. I sent out an email to these guys and I just said, “I’m so thankful and sorry for the distraction and you have to be asked these questions and such.” And I went much further into it with The Hollywood Reporter, and I’ve denied the allegations but the upshot is I won’t be playing Maura anymore. I’m going to miss that cast. I love that cast, and the answer is I would love to do “Arrested.” I love these people.”
Earlier this year, Cross said that he and ‘a number of’ his co-stars ‘stand behind’ Jeffrey Tambor. “I can’t speak for everybody, but I know there are a number of us who stand behind him—from the limited amount we know, we stand behind Jeffrey—and I am one of them,” he said.