Speed Reads

read this

Jeffrey Tambor gives first interview after sexual harassment allegations: 'I was difficult. I was mean.'

Transparent actor Jeffrey Tambor gave his first interview to The Hollywood Reporter after being accused by his former assistant and an actress on the series, both of whom are transgender women, of sexual harassment. "I drove myself and my castmates crazy," Tambor recalled of his time on Transparent, before he was fired in February. "Lines got blurred. I was difficult. I was mean."

Tambor's former assistant, Van Barnes, was the first to come forward as the #MeToo movement picked up steam. Barnes accused Tambor of giving her "butt pats" and making comments like, "why aren't I taking care of him sexually." Tambor released a statement after Barnes' allegations, calling her a "disgruntled assistant."

"I think that was generous of me," Tambor told THR looking back. "I dispute her account. I did raise my voice at times, I was moody at times, there were times when I was tactless. But as for the other stuff, absolutely not."

After Barnes came forward, actress Trace Lysette accused Tambor of flirtation — "kisses on the forehead, which was awkward" — which escalated into inappropriate behavior when they were filming a breakfast scene and he told her, "My God, Trace, I want to attack you sexually."

At the time, the allegations prompted Faith Soloway, a writing producer on Transparent and the older sister of creator Jill Soloway, to write Tambor an email of support. Reflecting on her comments now, Soloway said: "In the moment I felt that Jill and Jeffrey were under attack. I knew that some people disapproved of Jeffrey, a cisgender actor, playing Maura … I also sent messages of support to Trace and Van, and after the allegations were presented, I never disbelieved them."

Tambor told The Hollywood Reporter: "People change. It's already changed my behavior on set … You know what I do feel? More present. Everything's just clearer to me." Read the entire interview at The Hollywood Reporter.