Although it appeared that Jeffrey Tambor, the accused sexual harasser and star of the acclaimed series Transparent, quit back in November, Amazon announced Thursday that it has completed its internal investigation into the allegations against him and made it official that he will not return for the show's upcoming season, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Last fall, amid the deluge of #MeToo allegations, two transgender women associated with show that offered so much representation on and off screen for trans people accused Tambor of sexual harassment.
In early November Tambor’s former assistant Van Barnes alleged in a private Facebook post that her employer had “behaved inappropriately" with her, although she did not directly name him. She said that she was forced to listen to porn at a high volume as well as endure comments that implied "I should be sleeping with him if I want a Hollywood industry appropriate pay grade."
A few weeks later, actress Trace Lysette, who plays Shea on the series, accused Tambor — who played the the show's trans matriarch, Maura Pfefferman — of making lewd and suggestive remarks to her and of pressing his penis against her on set.
"My God, Trace. I want to attack you sexually,” Lysette said Tambor told her, which costar Alexandra Billings overheard and corroborated. Lysette also said that once between takes, “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. I felt his penis on my hip through his thin pajamas."
Following Lysette’s accusations, Tambor issued a statement in which he appeared to have quit, but his departure was not made official until Amazon confirmed this week that he would not appear in the show’s fifth season. Tambor’s statement that appeared to be a resignation of sorts read:
“Playing Maura Pfefferman on Transparent has been one of the greatest privileges and creative experiences of my life. 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. Given the politicized atmosphere that seems to have afflicted our set, I don’t see how I can return to Transparent.”
In light of Amazon’s determination that Tambor would not return to Transparent, the show’s creator Jill Soloway issued a statement praising his accusers for their bravery, THR reports.
“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. We are taking definitive action to ensure our workplace respects the safety and dignity of every individual, and are taking steps to heal as a family.”