After denying accusations of harassment while working on the Amazon series Transparent, star Jeffrey Tambor says he isn't sure he can return to the show.
Tambor, who has won two lead actor Emmys for his performance as a transgender woman on the series, says in a statement released Sunday by his publicist, Allan Mayer: "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."
He continued: "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.”
The initial accusation became public Nov. 8 when the actor's former assistant, a transgender woman named Van Barnes, implied in a private Facebook post that Tambor engaged in inappropriate behavior. After that report, Amazon confirmed that it was conducting an investigation into the accusations.
Tambor issued a statement denying the claims: “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.”
A second person, transgender actress Trace Lysette, who stars in Transparent, accused Tambor of sexual misconduct Thursday. "Sadly, I must add my voice to the chorus. Jeffrey has acted inappropriate to me too," Lysette told The Hollywood Reporter. "Jeffrey has made many sexual advances and comments at me, but one time it got physical."
Deadline.com was the first to report Tambor's reservations about returning to the series.