Actor Jeffrey Tambor has been officially removed from the Amazon television show Transparent over accusations of sexual harassment, Deadline reported. The company made the announcement on Thursday after completing its internal investigations into the allegations, some of which pertained to events on the sets of the series. Although Amazon Studios did not reveal details of its inquiry, officials at the company reportedly said that Tambor’s behaviour “could not be justified or excused under scrutiny”.
Transparent traces the journey of a family after its patriarch Mort (played by Tambor) comes out as a transgender and decides to live openly as Maura Pfefferman. The show was premiered in September 2014 and has completed four seasons. The upcoming fifth season will not feature Tambor.
The actor was first accused of sexual harassment in November last year by transgender actresses Van Barnes and Trace Lysette. On November 22, make-up artist and actor Tamara Delbridge alleged that the actor had forcibly kissed her on the set of the 2001 film Never Again.
The actor had issued a statement of apology to Barnes and Lysette, maintaining that although he was “volatile and ill-tempered”, he had never been a sexual predator. He also said that he had no memory of the incident Delbridge described, adding that it might have been “an enthusiastic farewell and gratitude for a job well done at the end of a shoot”.
In the wake of the accusations against him, Tambor had said on November 19 last year that he did not see how he could return to Transparent, criticising “the politicised atmosphere” on the sets of the show. Since then, his exit from the show had been near certain.
Transparent creator Jill Soloway asserted that the makers of the show were taking definitive action to ensure safety on set. “I have great respect and admiration for Van Barnes and Trace Lysette, whose courage in speaking out about their experience on Transparent is an example of the leadership this moment in our culture requires,” Soloway said. “We are grateful to the many trans people who have supported our vision for Transparent since its inception and remain heartbroken about the pain and mistrust their experience has generated in our community.”
‘Flawed and biased’
Meanwhile, Tambor said on Thursday that Amazon’s investigation was flawed and biased. “In our four-year history of working together on this incredible show, these accusations have NEVER been revealed or discussed directly with me or anyone at Amazon,” Tambor’s statement read. “Therefore, I can only surmise that the investigation against me was deeply flawed and biased toward the toxic politicised atmosphere that afflicted our set.”
He also lashed out against Amazon and Soloway. “I am profoundly disappointed in Amazon’s handling of these false accusations against me,” the Emmy-winning actor said Thursday. “I am even more disappointed in Jill Soloway’s unfair characterisation of me as someone who would ever cause harm to any of my fellow cast mates”