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Jeffrey Tambor leaves ‘Transparent’ amid harassment allegations

Amazon series’ star, accused by 2 women on show’s set, apologizes if his actions were “misinterpreted,” calls misconduct claims “untrue.”

Emmy-winning actor Jeffrey Tambor has been accused of

Emmy-winning actor Jeffrey Tambor has been accused of sexual misconduct. He denies the allegation. Photo Credit: AP / Invision / Richard Shotwell

LOS ANGELES

Jeffrey Tambor, who has won two Emmy Awards playing a transgender woman on the Amazon streaming series “Transparent,” has resigned from the comedy-drama amid allegations of sexual harassment.

“Playing Maura Pfefferman on ‘Transparent’ has been one of the greatest privileges and creative experiences of my life,” Tambor, 73, told Deadline.com in a statement Sunday. “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.”

He then stated that, “Given the politicized atmosphere that seems to have afflicted our set, I don’t see how I can return to ‘Transparent,’ ” which has aired 51 episodes over four seasons beginning 2014. It was unclear whether the series would continue to a planned season 5 next year without its star and lead character.

Tambor on Nov. 8 had responded to unspecified claims that former assistant Van Barnes had made in a private Facebook message. “I am aware that a former disgruntled assistant of mine has made a private post implying that I had acted in an improper manner toward her,” Tambor told Deadline. “I adamantly and vehemently reject and deny any and all implication and allegation that I have ever engaged in any improper behavior toward this person or any other person I have ever worked with. I am appalled and distressed by this baseless allegation.”

Amazon, however, had begun an internal investigation by then, with “Transparent” creator Jill Soloway saying in a statement, “Anything that would diminish the level of respect, safety and inclusion so fundamental to our workplace is completely antithetical to our principles. We are cooperating with the investigation into this matter.”

Then on Thursday, transgender recurring guest Trace Lysette, who plays transgender yoga instructor Shea on the show, posted a long Twitter message alleging, “Jeffrey has made many sexual advances and comments at me, but one time it got physical,” and then went into detail.

Tambor at this point responded, “I can be volatile and ill-tempered, and too often I express my opinions harshly and without tact. 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. But the fact is, for all my flaws, I am not a predator and the idea that someone might see me in that way is more distressing than I can express.”

Three days later, he resigned from the show.

DUNHAM APOLOGIZES. On Saturday, “Girls” creator-star Lena Dunham, 31, apologized for a statement she gave The Hollywood Reporter a day earlier defending series writer Murray Miller, whom actress Aurora Perrineau had accused of raping her in 2012 when she was 17. “While our first instinct is to listen to every woman’s story,” Dunham told the trade magazine in a long statement Friday, “our insider knowledge of Murray’s situation makes us confident that sadly this accusation is one of the 3 percent of assault cases that are misreported every year. It is a true shame to add to that number, as outside of Hollywood women still struggle to be believed. We stand by Murray. . . . ” The following day, Dunham tweeted, deleted, then reposted a long message saying in part, “I now understand that it was absolutely the wrong time to come forward with such a statement and I am so sorry. . . . Every woman who comes forward deserves to be heard, fully and completely, and our relationship to the accused should not be part of the calculation anyone makes when examining her case. . . . We apologize to any women who have been disappointed.”

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