Jeffrey Tambor’s historic and critically-acclaimed role as a transgender parent has come to an end.
The “Transparent” star will no longer be involved with the show over sexual assault allegations levied against him by actress Trace Lysette.
Tambor, 73, announced his resignation from the role, which earned him a Golden Globe, two Critics’ Choice and two Primetime Emmy awards.
“Playing Maura Pfefferman on ‘Transparent’ has been one of the greatest privileges and creative experiences of my life,” said Tambor in a statement obtained by ET Canada on Nov. 19.
“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.”
Tambor believes he had no choice but to exit the show: “Given the politicized atmosphere that seems to have afflicted our set, I don’t see how I can return to ‘Transparent’.”
Despite what seemed like his decision to exit the show, a representative for the actor made it clear Tambor had no plans on quitting the show — according to news published by The New York Times.
Lysette’s allegations against were made public on Nov. 14, six days after Tambor’s former assistant Van Barnes accused him of sexual misconduct.
And although the news was surely difficult for fans to process, the show’s cast and crew were equally hurt by the circumstances surrounding Tambor’s departure. “It was devastating,” said Micah Fitzerman-Blue, a former writer and producer for “Transparent”. “It’s just incredibly sad that that happened in the midst of something that felt so revolutionary.”
Lysette, an openly transgender actress on the show, is one person who is not bothered by Tambor’s departure. In fact, she sees it as an opportunity for the show to grow beyond the story of one actor playing one character. “Like, come on,” she told The Times. “We have a lot to share, and the world wants to see it, and I just think that it sucks that so much rides on these leading men.”
She also published a lengthy Instagram post insisting, “We cannot let trans content be taken down by a single cis man.”
(The above statement is from @tracelysette. The statement below is my response.) . My heart is broken. I’m struggling to put together words right now, as I’m flooded with emotions. Any abuse of power is inexcusable, but hearing the stories of Van and Trace have particularly shattered me. I honor the strength and courage that it must have taken for them to tell their truth. … Thank you for your leadership, Trace. Thank you for speaking up. And thank you for your proposed solution at the end of your statement. You are right — we cannot let trans content be taken down by a single cis man. I’m sure I’ll have more to say, but this is as much as I can get out in this very emotional moment. …. My heart goes out to all victims of abuse, told and untold. I hope this is the beginning of our time to heal.
And Rhys Ernst, a transgender producer on the show, had previously championed Tambor as a “socially responsible exception” to casting transgender people in transgender roles. In light of new circumstances, however, he said, “If we were to start this whole thing all over again, it would probably go a different way.”
Since Tambor and “Transparent” severed ties, a makeup artist who previously worked with Tambor on 2001’s “Never Again” came forward as the third woman accusing the actor of sexual harassment.
According to Deadline, the writing team of “Transparent” had already discussed writing Tambor’s character out of the show’s upcoming fifth season.