"Arrested Development" matriarch Jessica Walter confirms Jeffrey Tambor verbally abused her; Jason Bateman slammed for defending Tambor
ABC/Lou Rocco(LOS ANGELES) — Jessica Walter used a New York Times interview published on Wednesday to publicly confirm that her Arrested Development co-star Jeffrey Tambor verbally harassed her on the show’s set.
During the emotional interview, which also included Tambor and fellow cast members Jason Bateman, David Cross, Tony Hale and Will Arnett, the interviewer mentioned that Tambor alluded to blowing up at Walter in an earlier Hollywood Reporter article.
Tambor said he “profusely apologized” before praising the 77-year-old Walter, who plays his wife in the show, as “a walking acting lesson.”
Bateman immediately came to Tambor’s defense, saying, “Not to belittle it or excuse it or anything, but in the entertainment industry it is incredibly common to have people who are, in quotes, ‘difficult.’”
A tearful Walter then opened up, saying, “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 of being angry at him,” she continued. “In like 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.”
In February, Tambor was fired from Amazon’s Transparent following sexual harassment allegations lodged against him by his former personal assistant, Van Barnes, and actress Trace Lysette.
The allegations led to an internal investigation by Amazon and the decision that he would not be returning as Maura Pfefferman for Transparent‘s fifth season.
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