Arrested Development creator Mitch Hurwitz explained why Jeffrey Tambor will still appear in season five, despite the allegations of sexual harassment the actor faces from his time on Amazon's Transparent.
According to Entertainment Weekly, filming on season five wrapped in November, before former assistant Van Barnes and Transparent actress Trace Lysette accused Tambor of sexual harassment. Tambor initially denied the allegations, although he told The Hollywood Reporter earlier this month, "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."
Hurwitz told EW he talked about the allegations with Tambor, who was "as surprised by it as I was."
Hurwitz, who has worked with Tambor for two decades, said the actor can be "difficult" and a "grump," but "Jeffrey has never evinced that kind of behavior."
Hurwitz said the Arrested Development crew stands "with victims of sexual abuse," but he never received any complaints from anyone during the filming of the series. Netflix and 20th Century Fox said they did not receive sexual misconduct complaints either.
Hurwitz said he never saw a scenario where Tambor was cut out of the series.
“We were done shooting — there was no version of cutting him out of the show, or there would be no show," Hurwitz told EW. “Am I going to cut Jeffrey out of the show, based on allegations that he disputes, that Amazon hasn’t shared, and that we have never experienced any complaints about? No, of course I am not going to…. I’m going to support Jeffrey.”
In his May THR interview, Tambor admitted he once had a "blowup" with Arrested Development co-star Jessica Walter, and he "profusely apologized." Walter did not respond to THR at the time, but she told EW she is still "privately processing my feelings about the way I was treated by him."
However, Walter said she "never saw anything from him that crossed the line" into sexual harassment, adding, "I have great empathy for the courage of people who feel they have been harassed in any form speaking out — and sympathy for people who have been unjustly accused... It’s a very difficult situation for everyone involved."
Tambor stars as the Bluth family patriarch, George Bluth Senior, while Walter plays his on-screen wife, Lucille Bluth. The series also stars Jason Bateman, Michael Cera, Alia Shawkat, David Cross, Tony Hale, Will Arnett and Portia de Rossi.
Arrested Development season five will be available to stream on Netflix May 29.