Netflix Has Jeffrey Tambor’s Back
On Friday, multiple outlets reported that Jeffrey Tambor will reprise his role as George Bluth in the upcoming fifth season of Arrested Development, after having been accused of sexual harassment by two women while working on Amazon’s Transparent. At the time, it was unclear whether Tambor’s continued appearance on the show was a matter of active support by its creators, or simply due to timing and circumstance: season five was filmed last year, before allegations were made against Tabmor, and taking him out would have meant re-shooting or strategically editing around his scenes.
Now, it seems more clear that the Arrested Development team is still behind him. The Hollywood Reporter just published a lengthy profile about Tambor and the Transparent allegations, which led to him being fired from the Amazon show three months ago. The profile closes by noting that he will both appear in AD season five and at upcoming premieres and other promotional events for the show. If Arrested Development or Netflix felt that keeping Tambor in the show was an unsavory logistical necessity, one obvious way to signal that would be to disinvite him from functions like these. Netflix sent the opposite message in the THR profile: “In making and promoting seasons four and five of Arrested Development, Jeffrey has always been totally professional,” chief content officer Ted Sarandos said.
At least one Arrested Development player seemed more reticent in her support. In the profile, Tambor denies sexual misconduct, but admits to anger issues that include on-set outbursts at his colleagues at both Arrested Development and Transparent. He mentions one “blowup” in particular, for which he “profusely apologized” to Jessica Walter, who plays George Bluth’s wife Lucille on Arrested Development. When THR’s Seth Abramovitch contacted a Walter rep about the story, he received a terse reply: “Jessica does not wish to talk about Jeffrey Tambor.”