Jessica Walter Says Jeffrey Tambor Verbally Harassed Her on 'Arrested Development' Set
In a tearful sitdown interview with The New York Times, the actress recalled an incident with her co-star which she believes crossed the line.
In a sitdown interview with The New York Times, Arrested Development stars Jeffrey Tambor, Jessica Walter, Tony Hale, Jason Bateman, Alia Shawkat, Will Arnett and David Cross got candid and emotional about the recent allegations of sexual harassment against Tambor during his time on Transparent and his behavior on the set of their own show.
Walter, who stars as Tambor's ex-wife on the show, had her own verbal altercation with Tambor in the past. As the topic of Tambor's allegations came up, including reports that he had yelled at directors and assistant directors on the set of Transparent, Walter said, through tears, "Let me just say one thing that I just realized in this conversation. I have to let go of being angry at him. He never crossed the line on our show, with any, you know, sexual whatever. Verbally, yes, he harassed me, but he did apologize. I have to let it go."
She continued, " In … almost 60 years of working, I’ve never had anybody yell at me like that on a set. And it’s hard to deal with, but I’m over it now."
Bateman defended Tambor during the discussion, saying it was "part of his process," but Walter disagreed. Hale, similarly to Bateman, noted that "we all have our moments," to which Walter responded: "Not like that. That was bad."
When asked if she would have reservations working with Tambor again in the future, Walter said, "Of course not. No. I’ve just given it up. … I don’t want to walk around with anger. I respect him as an actor. We’ve known each other for years and years and years. … Of course, I would work with him again in a heartbeat."
Tambor was fired from Transparent earlier this year — he won several Emmys for his role of Maura Pfefferman, a retired mother of three who reveals that she is transgender — after his former assistant Van Barnes and co-star Trace Lysette accused him of sexual harassment and assualt.
Despite being dropped from the Amazon series, Tambor will appear in his role as the patriarch of the Bluth family at the center of Netflix's Arrested Development for its upcoming fifth season on May 29.
In April, Shawkat publicly stated that she supports "the voices of the victims," and called the situation "strange" and "sad." During the interview, she responded to her co-stars who spoke about Tambor's "process" by saying: "But that doesn’t mean it’s acceptable. And the point is that things are changing, and people need to respect each other differently."