Maura Pfefferman’s journey has come to a premature end.
Jeffrey Tambor has announced that he will not return to Transparent for its upcoming fifth season. He issued the following statement to our sister site Deadline:
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.
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. Given the politicized atmosphere that seems to have afflicted our set, I don’t see how I can return to Transparent.
On Nov. 16, Tambor was accused of sexual harassment by his Transparent co-star Trace Lysette, who says that, in addition to making a comment about a sexual attack, the actor cornered her on the set in Season 2 and pressed his groin against her. Lysette called on Amazon to fire the multiple Emmy winner and “let the show go on.”
In response, Tambor denied that he had taken part in any predatory behavior. “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,” he said. “But I have never been a predator – ever.”
Earlier in November, Tambor’s former assistant Van Barnes also accused the actor of groping and making lewd comments — allegations that Tambor called “baseless” at the time. Barnes’ complaints prompted Amazon to launch an investigation that Soloway supported.
As early as Nov. 14, the Transparent writers were said to be contemplating a version of Season 5 without Tambor. It was later reported that series creator Jill Soloway was wrestling with the idea of killing off Tambor’s Maura. It’s still not clear which route the series will ultimately take.
Meanwhile, it remains unclear what impact the allegations against Tambor will have on the upcoming fifth season of Arrested Development. Netflix’s second revival of the cult comedy just wrapped production ahead of a 2018 release.