While promoting her upcoming film Duck Butter, Alia Shawkat broke her silence on accusations that Jeffrey Tambor harassed actresses on the set of Transparent. "I was surprised, obviously. I’ve known him since I was very young,” Shawkat told IndieWire, “I support the voices of the victims though, whatever they said.”
Shawkat began working with Tambor when she was 14 years old on the set of Arrested Development. She also appeared on Season 4 of Transparent. Tambor was accused of sexually harassing his assistant, Van Barnes, and transgender costar Trace Lysette. Barnes claimed Tambor propositioned her for sex and admitted to watching her naked without her knowledge or permission. Lysette claims the Emmy-winner pressed his pelvis against her body on set.
After an investigation from Amazon, Tambor was terminated from the show. He has since fired back at the studio and out showrunner Jill Soloway.
"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 told Deadline. "Therefore, I can only surmise that the investigation against me was deeply flawed and biased toward the toxic politicized atmosphere that afflicted our set."
“Transparent and Amazon did their own investigations,” Shawkat commented. “It’s being handled the way it’s being handled. It’s very…strange. I know a lot of actresses [who] work with people…this is happening to, [but] we don’t have personal understandings of it…And I worked with him on two shows, too, so it’s kind of following me around. I hope it’s all handled legally, the way it should be, and taken into consideration.”
Whether or not Tambor will star in the upcoming season of Arrested Development is unclear. However, Shawkat is the only member of the cast to speak out against him in the wake of #MeToo. David Cross, who was also accused of racist bullying, told amNY “I can’t speak for everybody, but I know there are a number of us who stand behind him — from the limited amount we know, we stand behind Jeffrey — and I am one of them."
Shawkat is not part of that crowd. “I’m an actor, I worked with him,” she explained. “It’s not about sharing my personal opinion of him…What those victims said needs to be heard just as much. And that’s the facts, that’s just the truth of it. And they can’t be squashed down because of something else. But it is also, you know, it is sad, too.”