Alia Shawkat has spoken out in support of the victims who have accused Jeffrey Tambor of sexual harassment on the set of Transparent.
In November of last year, Amazon Studios began investigating a sexual harassment allegation against Tambor after his former assistant, Van Barnes, a transgender woman, implied in a private Facebook post that he behaved inappropriately toward her. A few weeks later, Transparent actress Trace Lysette accused the actor of sexual advances. Most recently, in March, Barnes went on Megyn Kelly Today and revealed an instance in which Tambor spied on her as she slept naked. Tambor eventually quit his job amidst the accusations, later returning only to be fired from the gig and criticize the show’s “toxic politicized atmosphere.”
Shawkat worked closely with Tambor for years on Arrested Development (Shawkat played the teenage daughter Mae “Maeby” Fünke, Tambor played her grandfather, George Bluth). Regarding the accusations, she told IndieWire :
“I was surprised, obviously. I’ve known him since I was very young. I support the voices of the victims though, whatever they said...Transparent and Amazon did their own investigations. It’s being handled the way it’s being handled. It’s very…strange. I know a lot of actresses [who] work with people…this is happening to, [but] we don’t have personal understandings of it…And I worked with him on two shows, too, so it’s kind of following me around. I hope it’s all handled legally, the way it should be, and taken into consideration.”
She described the situation as “strange” and “sad” before adding:
“I’m an actor, I worked with him. It’s not about sharing my personal opinion of him…What those victims said needs to be heard just as much. And that’s the facts, that’s just the truth of it. And they can’t be squashed down because of something else. But it is also, you know, it is sad, too.”
It’s reassuring to hear Shawkat speak in support of the victims, especially in a time when another one of her former Arrested Development co-stars, David Cross, told amNY in February, “I can’t speak for everybody, but I know there are a number of us who stand behind him.”