Amazon Studios confirmed on Thursday that Jeffrey Tambor will not be invited back to the next season of Transparent. Amazon began an investigation into Tambor back in November after his former assistant Van Barnes accused him of sexual assault. Not long after, Transparent star Trace Lysette spoke out about her own allegation of sexual assault by Tambor, which was added to Amazon’s investigation. While Tambor has not been criminally charged for sexual assault, and has not admitted to either allegation, it’s official that the show will go on without him.
Tambor was quick to respond to the firing.
“I am profoundly disappointed in Amazon’s handling of these false accusations against me,” he said in a statement to Entertainment Weekly on Thursday. “I am even more disappointed in [Transparent creator] Jill Soloway’s unfair characterization of me as someone who would ever cause harm to any of my fellow castmates. 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. Therefore, I can only surmise that the investigation against me was deeply flawed and biased toward the toxic politicized atmosphere that afflicted our set.”
Tambor added, “As I have consistently stated, I deeply regret if any action of mine was ever misinterpreted by anyone and I will continue to vehemently defend myself. I also deeply regret that this ground-breaking show, which changed so many lives, is now in jeopardy. That, to me, is the biggest heartbreak.”
One of the show’s writers, Our Lady J, also spoke out about the decision. “Any abuse of power is inexcusable, but hearing the stories of Van and Trace have particularly shattered me. I honor the strength and courage that it must have taken for them to tell their truth. We cannot let trans content be taken down by a single cis man.”
Barnes and Lysette are both trans women, and Transparent largely focused on Tambor’s character in the show, who’s also transgender.
Barnes’ complaint against Tambor alleged that he acted inappropriately towards her over social media. However, due to a non-disclosure agreement, Barnes has not put out any other details about the incident or been able to comment on Lysette’s allegations.
Lysette alleged that Tambor physically assaulted her by standing on her so she couldn’t leave while he grinded against her. According to Lysette, this assault came after Tambor announced upon seeing her in costume “I want to attack you sexually.”
Tambor has gone back and forth since November about whether he expected to return to Transparent. He went from saying that he did not expect to be invited back to the show to saying that he would not be quitting.
The actor’s initial statement about the allegations read in part, “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.”
Hopefully the groundbreaking show will be able to find its groove and continue to be a success without Tambor.