Since Jeffrey Tambor is no longer leading the series, the next season of Transparent might be delayed until 2019. According to The Hollywood Reporter, production on the ground-breaking Amazon comedy might not pick up again until this December. (Bustle has reached out to Amazon for comment on the report, but did not receive an immediate response.) The report comes shortly after Amazon announced on Feb. 15 that Tambor would not return to Transparent following sexual misconduct claims against him. How creator Jill Soloway and Season 5 showrunner Jill Gordon will address the change remains to be seen.
Amazon announced that Tambor was fired after completing an investigation into multiple sexual harassment allegations. Tambor denounced the company's investigation, telling Entertainment Weekly in a statement that he was "profoundly disappointed in Amazon’s handling of these false accusations." He added, "I can only surmise that the investigation against me was deeply flawed and biased toward the toxic politicized atmosphere that afflicted our set.”
The investigation began last November, when the actor's former assistant, Van Barnes, claimed Tambor groped and propositioned her. Trace Lysette, a trans actor who has worked on Transparent also accused the actor of nonconsensual sexual advances on the show's set. Tambor has denied both claims. He responded to Lysette's accusation in a statement to US Weekly that read, in part:
"I know I haven’t always been the easiest person to work with. 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."
Soloway remained quiet about Tambor throughout the investigation, but released a statement after Amazon's announcement. She told The Hollywood Reporter, “I have great respect and admiration for Van Barnes and Trace Lysette, whose courage in speaking out about their experience on Transparent is an example of the leadership this moment in our culture requires." She explained that, in the wake of the accusations, she planned on making changes to stop misconduct from happening. She added, "We are taking definitive action to ensure our workplace respects the safety and dignity of every individual, and are taking steps to heal as a family."
Tambor's statement to Entertainment Weekly following his firing addressed Soloway's response head-on. He explained that, while he was disappointed in Amazon, he felt more betrayed by the show creator:
"I am even more disappointed in Jill Soloway’s unfair characterization of me as someone who would ever cause harm to any of my fellow cast mates. 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."
Even before the investigation was through, Tambor, who won Emmy, Golden Globe, and SAG Awards for his portrayal of trans woman Maura Pfefferman, said that he planned on leaving the show. Last November amid the allegations, he told Deadline, "Given the politicized atmosphere that seems to have afflicted our set, I don’t see how I can return to Transparent.” He also said, "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."
Though the other members of the Pfefferman family (played by Judith Light, Amy Landecker, Jay Duplass, and Gaby Hoffmann) have their own story arcs, Maura and her transition were at the center of the show. It's unclear if the writers plan on changing the series format to move away from the central Pfefferman core or if the matriarch role will be recast — perhaps this time with a trans actor in the role.
Either way the show will return to Amazon Prime for its fifth season, eventually.
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.