Five Arrested Development cast and crew members have come out in support of Jeffrey Tambor following accusations he sexually assaulted three transgender women.
In an Entertainment Weekly profile on the cult hit’s soon-to-debut fifth season, co-stars Will Arnett, Jason Bateman, and Tony Hale claim they are standing behind Tambor. They are joined by the show’s creator, Mitchell Hurwitz, who tells the entertainment magazine that the embattled actor has “has never evinced that kind of behavior” on set.
“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 complaints about?” Hurwitz claims. “No, of course, I am not going to.  I’m going to support Jeffrey.”
David Cross, who plays Tambor’s son-in-law on Arrested Development, previously expressed support for him in an amNewYork interview.
“There are a number of us who stand behind himfrom the limited amount we know, we stand behind Jeffreyand I am one of them,” the comedian said, while noting that he “can’t speak for everybody” in the show’s cast and crew.
The allegations were first reported in November, when former assistant Van Barnes came forward to say that the actor propositioned her for sex when she was under his employ, claiming that she could further her career by sleeping with him. She would later tell the Fox News anchor turned morning show host Megyn Kelly that Tambor watched her while she slept.
Although Tambor vehemently denied those allegations, two more accusers would come forward: Transparent actresses Trace Lysette and Rain Valdez.
Lysette says Tambor told her that he wanted to “attack [her] sexually” while filming an episode of the acclaimed Amazon family dramedy’s second season. Although she tells The Hollywood Reporter she laughed off the comment at the time, Lysette claims he cornered her later in the day and pinned her down so she couldn’t get away.
“He came in close, put his bare feet on top of mine so I could not move, leaned his body against me, and began quick, discreet thrust back and forth against my body,” she alleges. I felt his penis on my hip through his thin pajamas.”
Costar Alexandra Billings, who recently wrote an op-ed in support of Lysette’s claims, confirmed the lewd comments to THR but was not present for the assault.
After a follow-up report in the popular industry publication appeared extremely sympathetic to Tambor, Valdez posted a tweet claiming to have experienced similar treatment. She says that during a table read for Transparent, he kissed her without her consentand would repeat the gesture at a Los Angeles Trans Pride event in 2015.
“Upon seeing me at his arrival, Jeffrey hugged me tight around my waist and planted a kiss right on my lips,” Valdez alleges of the latter incident.
As Billings first pointed out, Tambor is one of the extremely few men accused of sexual misconduct in the #MeToo era to remain employed after the allegations came to light. Although he was fired from Transparent following an internal investigation from Amazon, Hurwitz confirmed he will remain in Arrested Development’s fifth seasonwhich bows on Netflix later this month.
“We were done shooting,” he claims. “There was no version of cutting him out of the show, or there would be no show.”
As INTO previously reported, Tambor has a number of projects in the pipeline even as accused abusers like Harvey Weinstein, James Toback, Kevin Spacey, and Garrison Keillor are persona non grata. He has one film screening in theaters right now (The Death of Stalin) and at least two more on the way (The Adventures of Drunky and Magic Camp).
Billings argues that the gender identity of his alleged victims is why Tambor has been supported while others have been shunned.
“[T]his man harassed trans women, and that makes a difference,” she says in the HuffPost op-ed. “This man treated these transwomen [sic] the way most males treat us: like a fetish. Disposable. Amusing. Sexy. Replaceable.”
Not all of Tambor’s Arrested Development castmates, however, have stood behind him.
Alia Shawkat, the openly queer actress plays his granddaughter on the sitcom, tells IndieWire that she was “surprised” by the multiple accusations, having “known him since [she] was very young.” But she claims she will stand in solidarity with the women who have come forward.
“I support the voices of the victims though, whatever they said,” Shawkat says. “[…] What those victims said needs to be heard just as much.”
Jessica Walter, who portrays the family matriarch on Arrested Development, pointedly declined to comment on the controversial THR piece accused of defending Tambor following an on-set blow-up between the two. But in the EW piece, she comes out somewhere in the middle on the issue.
“I have great empathy for the courage of people who feel they have been harassed in any form speaking outand sympathy for people who have been unjustly accused,” she says. “It’s a very difficult situation for everyone involved.”
Walter adds that she “never saw anything from him that crossed the line” of sexual misconduct.