In light of recent sexual harassment allegations made against Jeffrey Tambor, writers on Amazon’s flagship comedy Transparent are reportedly considering removing Tambor’s character from the Jill Soloway-created show’s fifth season.
Per Deadline, Transparent writers were working on season five storylines when the news broke that Amazon had launched an investigation into claims made by Tambor’s former assistant, Van Barnes. Barnes wrote in a private Facebook post that her former boss had made lewd comments, propositioned her repeatedly, groped her and threatened to sue her if she spoke out.
Tambor was quick to dismiss Barnes’ “baseless” claims, telling Deadline:
I am aware that a former disgruntled assistant of mine has made a private post implying that I had acted in an improper manner toward her. I adamantly and vehemently reject and deny any and all implication and allegation that I have ever engaged in any improper behavior toward this person or any other person I have ever worked with. I am appalled and distressed by this baseless allegation.
Tambor’s character, Maura Pfefferman, is the transgender parent for whom the series is named—the show follows her coming out to her family and her subsequent transition. Though Transparent is an ensemble drama, it ultimately revolves around Maura, so the writers will have their work cut out for them in finding a way forward without Tambor. Transparent was renewed for a fifth season in August before debuting its fourth in September.
Tambor has won two Emmys, a Golden Globe and a Screen Actors Guild Award for his Transparent performance. Last month, he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Walk of Fame ceremonies producer Ana Martinez said at the time that ”[Tambor’s] role in Transparent is groundbreaking and will be a part of television’s history for many years to come.”
Amazon executive Roy Price recently resigned from the company after The Man in the High Castle producer Isa Hackett revealed that Price had repeatedly and crudely propositioned her, refusing to take no for an answer. Amazon suspended Price in the wake of those allegations—it’s currently unclear whether Tambor will face any such censure.
Netflix’s House of Cards is at a similar crossroads after star Kevin Spacey was widely accused of sexual misconduct. Production on the show was suspended indefinitely in order to “to give [producers] time to review the current situation and to address any concerns of [their] cast and crew.” It’s said producers have considered killing off Spacey’s character. The actor was also removed from Sony’s finished film All the Money in the World in an unprecedented move.
Transparent season five is expected to debut in 2018.