In a stunning development, Jeffrey Tambor will not return for the fifth season of Transparent. Tambor announced his decision to leave amid reports of sexual harassment allegations made against him by his former assistant and one of his co-stars.
Created by Jill Solloway, Transparent tells the story of Maura Pfefferman (Tambor), a transgender woman attempting to navigate her late life transition with the support of her three adult children and her ex-wife. The show has been a critical smash for Amazon, and Tambor has won two Emmys for his lead performance. But recent reports alleging Tambor sexually harassed his former assistant Van Barnes and his co-star Trace Lysette have thrown his future on Transparent season 5 into question.
Tambor has now answered that question. Per Deadline, Tambor has released a statement confirming he is leaving the series. Tambor's statement, while appreciative of his time on the show, doubles down on his previous denials regarding the sexual harassment allegations:
“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.”
Amazon has not officially renewed Transparent for a fifth season, but even with Tambor's departure the show is expected to return, presumably with a shift toward the show's ensemble, something that was already happening in the show's more recent seasons.
Tambor is hardly the first high profile celebrity to face serious repercussions in the face of allegations of sexual misconduct in the wake of the bombshell Harvey Weinstein scandal. After he was accused of assaulting Star Trek: Discovery actor Anthony Rapp when Rapp was 14 years old, Kevin Spacey was fired from House of Cards and recast in upcoming Ridley Scott film All The Money In The World. Louis C.K. saw his relationships with both HBO and FX terminated, as well as the cancellation of his new film I Love You, Daddy, after the comedian confirmed longstanding rumors of his own misconduct. Directors James Toback and Brett Ratner have both been accused of serial sexual misconduct, as have The Flash showrunner Andrew Kreisberg and One Tree Hill creator Mark Schwahn - the latter two have been suspended from their current productions.
While Tambor won't return to Transparent, he's likely still a part of Arrested Development's upcoming fifth season on Netflix, which has reportedly wrapped production. It remains to be seen how these allegations will affect any of Tambor's other projects, but it seems highly unlikely this is the last high profile case of sexual harassment in Hollywood we're going to hear about.