“Playing Maura Pfefferman on ‘Transparent’ has been one of the greatest privileges and creative experiences of my life,” the Emmy-winning actor said in a statement to Variety. “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,” Tambor said. “Given the politicized atmosphere that seems to have afflicted our set, I don’t see how I can return to ‘Transparent.’”
Tambor was accused of sexual harassment by his former personal assistant, a trans woman named Van Barnes, in a private Facebook post on Nov. 8, causing Amazon to open an investigation into the allegations. On Thursday, guest star Trace Lysette came forward with further alleged instances of inappropriate behavior.
“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,” Tambor said in a statement obtained by Variety at the time of Barnes’ allegations. “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.”
Tambor released a second statement following Lysette’s allegations.
“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,” the statement reads.
“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,” Tambor continued. “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.”
The team behind “Transparent” had already begun planning a way to continue the show without Tambor once the allegations broke. No final decision about next season has been made by Amazon.
The writers room, led by new showrunner Jill Gordon, is still in the process of planning Season 5, which is set to debut next year. “There’s momentum on the inside to continue without Jeffrey Tambor,” a source told Variety on Friday.
Amazon declined to comment. Deadline first reported the news of Tambor’s exit.