Jeffrey Tambor Says A "Coup" May Be Responsible For His Transparent Firing

Photo: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images.
In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, actor Jeffrey Tambor insinuated that the circumstances surrounding his February firing are suspect, and possibly even the result of a conspiracy. Faith Soloway, sister to showrunner Jill Soloway, allegedly emailed Tambor shortly after his firing alleging that the show was in a "coup."
The email, according to Tambor, read: "‘We are in a coup. You are fucking fantastic. You have changed the world. We have changed the world. We will get through this. Love, love, love, Faith." An additional source confirmed the content of the email to THR. In addition, before he was fired, Jill Solloway wrote to Tambor in a text, "They have been after Maura [Tambor's character] from the beginning."
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Tambor, who will appear in the forthcoming season of Arrested Development, was dismissed from the cast of Transparent after two women accused him of sexual harassment. Trace Lysette, a cast member on the show, told THR in November that Tambor made sexually aggressive remarks to her and physically assaulted her on the Transparent set. In addition, Tambor's assistant Van Banes alleged in a private Facebook post that Tambor acted inappropriately toward her. Amazon subsequently launched an investigation into Tambor. The investigation found no evidence of sexual harassment.
Following the accusations, Tambor denied that he'd done anything in the realm of sexual misconduct. He did, however, admit that he'd been volatile on set.
"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," Tambor's statement read.
Speaking to THR for this most recent story, Tambor claims, "Something was up, over and above me. Some dots were not connecting." He insists that his relations with Barnes, his assistant, were complicated, but not inappropriately sexual.
“What I said [in my initial statement] was that she was a disgruntled assistant," Tambor claimed. "I think that was generous of me. I dispute her account. I did raise my voice at times, I was moody at times, there were times when I was tactless. But as for the other stuff, absolutely not." Tambor also lived with Barnes briefly during production on the second season of Transparent. Barnes claims he watched her sleep naked; Tambor disputes this.
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Jill Soloway, speaking to THR, noted that Tambor was already controversial because he was a cisgender man in a transgender role. "While much of the trans community immediately embraced the show, some vocally opposed the casting of a cis man, Jeffrey, in the lead role. This sentiment has persisted in parts of the community — coming up again on social media in the wake of these allegations," she said. This explains why she sent Tambor the text about the community being "after" Maura. "It was a text I wrote in frustration after pouring my heart into this show for years," Soloway explained. Soloway does not pick sides in the piece, telling THR that Tambor was difficult and made enemies, even if he didn't know he did.
"You have to be very, very careful if you’re a person in power and treat people very appropriately," she said.
Tambor credits his stress over his role as Maura Pfefferman, the trans woman at the center of the show, with his temperament. "Lines got blurred. I was difficult," he admitted. "I was mean. I yelled at Jill — she told me recently she was afraid of me."
He continued, "But I was scared, because I was a cisgender male playing Maura Pfefferman. And my whole thing was, ‘Am I doing it right? Am I doing it right? Am I doing it right?’ To the point that I worried myself to death."
Jill Soloway told THR that they are currently working on developing a fifth season. They also revealed that this will be the show's last.
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