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Jeffrey Tambor criticises Amazon after being dropped from 'Transparent' over sexual harassment claims

The actor was accused of sexual harassment by former assistant Van Barnes and co-star Trace Lysette

2018-02-18

Jeffrey Tambor has been fired from Amazon's Transparent following accusations of sexual harassment. 

Last year, the Emmy winning actor, who plays lead character Maura Pfefferman in the show, was accused of sexual harassment by former assistant Van Barnes and co-star Trace Lysette. 

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Van Barnes accused the actor of behaving in a sexually inappropriate manner in a private social media post, leading Amazon to launch an investigation. Soon after, Trace Lysette claimed Tambor had sexually harassed her on multiple occasions and said she felt like she was being "targeted" by the actor.

Amazon announced on Thursday (February 15) that it had completed its internal investigation into the accusations and revealed that Tambor will not return for Transparent's upcoming season. 

In a statement, show creator Jill Soloway said: "I have great respect and admiration for Van Barnes and Trace Lysette, whose courage in speaking out about their experience on Transparent is an example of the leadership this moment in our culture requires.

"We are grateful to the many trans people who have supported our vision for Transparent since its inception and remain heartbroken about the pain and mistrust their experience has generated in our community. We are taking definitive action to ensure our workplace respects the safety and dignity of every individual, and are taking steps to heal as a family."

However, Jeffrey Tambor criticised Amazon's decision to drop him from the show and claimed the accusations were "false". 

Speaking to the Hollywood Reporter, Tambor said: "I am profoundly disappointed in Amazon's handling of these false accusations against me.

"I am even more disappointed in Jill Soloway's unfair characterization of me as someone who would ever cause harm to any of my fellow cast-mates. In our four-year history of working together on this incredible show, these accusations have NEVER been revealed or discussed directly with me or anyone at Amazon.

"Therefore, I can only surmise that the investigation against me was deeply flawed and biased toward the toxic politicized atmosphere that afflicted our set. As I have consistently stated, I deeply regret if any action of mine was ever misinterpreted by anyone and I will continue to vehemently defend myself."

He added: "I also deeply regret that this ground-breaking show, which changed so many lives, is now in jeopardy. That, to me, is the biggest heartbreak."

It's unclear how the show's fifth season, originally set to premiere this year, will address Tambor's absence. The show's writing staff earlier revealed that they had begun reworking the upcoming season following news of the accusations.