Jeffrey Tambor Will Be On 'Arrested Development' Season 5, Despite Sexual Harassment Allegations
Months after Amazon removed him from his starring role in Transparent, Vulture reported Jeffrey Tambor will appear on Arrested Development Season 5. On Friday, a Netflix spokesperson confirmed to Bustle that Tambor will be part of the show's upcoming fifth season, but had no further comment. After being fired from Transparent following Amazon's investigation into multiple allegations of sexual harassment in mid-February, Tambor vehemently denied any wrongdoing in an official statement shared by Deadline, which read:
“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.”
He also told Entertainment Weekly that he is "profoundly disappointed in Amazon’s handling of these false accusations" and called the investigation "deeply flawed" and "biased toward the toxic politicized atmosphere that afflicted our set." (Bustle reached out to Amazon and Tambor’s manager for comment at the time, but did not receive an immediate response.)
While there's been speculation about his involvement in Arrested Development's upcoming season, cast members of the series have mostly voiced their support for Tambor.
In an interview with amNew York, Tambor's co-star David Cross revealed that the majority of the cast of Arrested Development supports Tambor amid the allegations. Cross said,
"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.”
Cross and Tambor are both part of an ensemble cast which includes Jason Bateman, Michael Cera, Jessica Walter, Will Arnett, Tony Hale, Portia de Rossi, and Alia Shawkat. Bateman also showed support for Tambor, telling The Hollywood Reporter in February, “I love Jeffrey. I always will. I can’t go further than that, but I will always love that man.”
Shawkat, who appeared alongside Tambor on both Transparent and Arrested Development, became the first actor from the Arrested Development cast to voice support for Tambor's accusers. In April, Shawkat told IndieWire: “I was surprised, obviously. I’ve known him since I was very young. I support the voices of the victims, though, whatever they said.” She continued,
“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.”
Amid news of his exit from Transparent last November, Tambor also told Deadline: “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 added,
“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.”
For his portrayal of transgender woman Maura Pfefferman, Tambor has won two Primetime Emmy Awards, a Golden Globe Award, and a SAG Award.
Netflix has yet to announce a premiere date for Season 5 of Arrested Development. However, the show's creator Mitch Hurwitz took to Twitter to reveal that it would be returning soon. Hurwitz's social media announcement also shared that a remastered version of Arrested Development's fourth season called "The Remix" would be premiering on Netflix on May 4, which gives fans something to hold onto until Season 5 makes its official debut on the streaming service.
Entertainment Weekly indicated that Season 5 filming wrapped this past November, right around the time when the accusations against Tambor first surfaced. So it appears that Tambor's scenes may have already been completed when the allegations hit the media.
It's unclear whether or not Arrested Development intends to address allegations aimed at Tambor. However, it's evident that the world will be waiting to see how the situation is handled.
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, call the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 800-656-HOPE (4673) or visit online.rainn.org.