“I believe every single word that both Ms. Lysette and Ms. Barnes said in their public statements about Mr. Tambor’s vile and abhorrent behavior. They are not the ones who are lying. That is what I believe to be true,” wrote Billings in an essay for HuffPost.
In the essay, Billings corroborates a sexually-charged statement that Tambor allegedly made on set, directed towards actress Trace Lysette. She then criticizes The Hollywood Reporter’s recent rehab profile about Tambor; the article awfully focused on Lysette and fellow accuser Van Barnes’ appearances and previous occupations.
“You see, if we discredit the victims, there simply is no crime,” writes Billings. It’s an old tactic, but she calls it for what it is. Billings also lays complicity on the cast of Tambor’s new show, the Netflix reboot of Arrested Development, for sweeping these allegations under the rug.
Billings rightfully points out that no other high-profile male accused of sexual harassment has yet found work since the #MeToo movement began, though some have sniffed around the idea of a comeback — except Tambor. That Tambor’s image is in the process of being rehabilitated and he still has a job is only explained by one factor: his victims were transgender women. “This man treated these transwomen the way most males treat us: like a fetish. Disposable. Amusing. Sexy. Replaceable,” she writes. It points to our larger problem of not taking trans people seriously, not acknowledging their pain and danger, not listening to their stories.
Ultimately, Billings says that she believes that people can change, but that the trans community isn’t defined by one television show — or one cisgender actor who played a trans woman. “No matter what happens with Jeffrey, a man I admired, loved, laughed with, and stood next to for four years, my community will survive. This is how we were born, from the center of the universe and the edges of infinity. We have lasted and we will continue.”
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