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–Jeffrey Tambor, in a statement to Deadline, announcing that he won’t be returning for the fifth season of Amazon’s Transparent.
Tambor, who plays lead character Maura Pfefferman, has been accused of sexual harassment and lewd conduct by two transgender actresses on the show, Van Barnes, who is also Tambor’s former assistant, and Trace Lysette.
Barnes accuses Tambor of making lewd comments towards her and groping her, while Lysette says he made sexual remarks towards her and thrust his penis against her while on set.
As previously reported, during the incident Lysette was wearing a “flimsy top and matching short shorts” for a pajamas scene. “Upon seeing me in my costume, Jeffrey sexualized me with an over the top comment,” Lysette said. “Then later, in between takes, I stood in a corner on the set…. Jeffrey approached me. He came in close, put his bare feet on top of mine so I could not move, leaned his body against me, and began quick, discreet thrusts back and forth against my body.
“I felt his penis on my hip through his thin pajamas and I pushed him off of me.”
Tambor denies claims of harassment, saying his actions were “misinterpreted,” but that he cannot continue to work on the show as a result.
He told Deadline that playing Maura Pfefferman, for which he received two Emmys, “has been one of the greatest privileges and creative experiences of my life.” However, he added that it has “become clear over the past weeks…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,” Tambor continued. “Given the politicized atmosphere that seems to have afflicted our set, I don’t see how I can return to Transparent.”
Transparent‘s fourth season premiered on September 22. A fifth season of the groundbreaking show is expected to air next year — albeit now without Tambor, something Deadline reports the show’s writers were already preparing for.
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