After her husband David Cross was accused of being racist towards comedian Charlene Yi, Amber Tambyln reveals the couple received death threats.
The actress and writer was a guest on NPR’s “It’s Been A Minute” where she said Cross’ behaviour was “rightfully” called out online by Yi in a Twitter thread last October. According to Yi, Cross made fun of her clothing and when she didn’t respond, he continued with, “What’s a matter? You don’t speak English? Ching-chong-ching-chong” before asking if she would fight him with karate.
“He was rightfully accused of doing something racist to the comedian, Charlyne Yi,” Tamblyn tells NPR host Sam Sanders. “You know, I think the jokes that work for white guys and their white guy comedian friends don’t work, always, for women of colour.”
Cross issued a public apology after Yi’s tweets.
After Yi’s online post, Tamblyn says her involvement with the #MeToo and Time’s Up movement was called into question and the couple received “death threats” following the incident. An outspoken advocate for the movements, Tamblyn says she addressed Cross’ behaviour in private, calling it “difficult for our family.”
“We got death threats and women were coming after me and telling me, ‘Oh, you can’t be the head of a movement and not speak to this.’ I really hold a strong boundary with this and believe I’ve earned the right to privacy,” she explains. “And if you care about my voice and what I have to say at all and you think you know me, then you better assume that I’m having really difficult conversations with my husband about it. Just like all women are.”
Tamblyn, who married Cross in 2012 and welcomed a daughter together in 2017, says the “Arrested Development” actor’s “eyes are open to [his mistake], if they weren’t before” and that he is willing to atone for his actions and work on not making the same mistake again.
“The thing I can say about David, that I love so much about him, is that he changes,” Tamblyn continues. “And part of his introspection and his sensitivity is that he’s aware of that. And I think, same thing goes for the talking over Jessica Walter incident that happened recently. The ‘Arrested Development’ press tour. I think it was a similar experience where it’s just a continual sense of getting them to open their eyes and getting them to see either how they’re helping or they’re not helping.”