The writers room, led by new showrunner Jill Gordon, is 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 tells Variety.
Trace Lysette, who has appeared as a guest star on the series, has accused the actor of making sexually charged remarks to her during their work together on the series, as well as acting inappropriately during one alleged incident that “got physical.” She called on Amazon to use the alleged incident as a “teachable moment” and “re-center the other trans characters in this show with the family members.”
Amazon is already investigating allegations of harassment leveled against Tambor by his former assistant on the show, Van Barnes. The allegations from Lysette will be probed as part of the ongoing investigation, Amazon said.
GLAAD has voiced its support for Lysette, as well as the future of the series given its value to the trans community. Not only has it won multiple awards for its inclusive storylines, but the show is a significant employer of trans people, a community that faces high levels of employment discrimination. Creator Jill Soloway has long made a commitment to hiring trans actors and crew members. “It became clear to me that the only way to do a show like this would be to make it a safe place for trans people everywhere,” they told Variety back in 2014.
“Trace Lysette is a gifted actress and a trailblazer for the inclusion of transgender women in Hollywood,” said GLAAD in an exclusive statement to Variety. “For too long, transgender women have been forced to hide stories of harassment and abuse in the workplace, and Trace has taken a powerful stand in calling for an industry where all women can work in safe environments. The show ‘Transparent’ is bigger than one person and is home to some of the most talented transgender people in Hollywood – both in front of the camera and behind. GLAAD stands with Trace in her hope that the inappropriate situations she and others endured on set will be remedied, and that future seasons will focus on more of the many brilliant characters that audiences love and care about.”
Tambor has denied the allegations, and apologized for his actions. “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,” he said in a statement Thursday night in the wake of Lysette’s allegations. “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.”
A source tells Variety that Lysette doesn’t want to see her accusations derail the show. “Trace in speaking her truth also wanted to make sure that ‘Transparent’ continued, but without the toxic element that is Jeffrey Tambor,” says the source.
In a post on Instagram, Our Lady J, who’s been a writer on the show since its second season, said, “We cannot let trans content be taken down by a single cis man.”
Actor Omar Sharif Jr. joined the chorus of voices on Twitter arguing for the show’s future. “It’s critical that @transparent_tv continue (without Tambor) as trans stories are needed more than ever!” he wrote.
“Orphan Black” star Tatiana Maslany voiced her support for Lysette on Twitter, writing, “Standing with you @tracelysette. Thank you for your bravery on screen and off.”
Representatives for Amazon and Soloway did not respond to Variety‘s requests for comment.