Alia Shawkat Says She Wanted to Tell Her Male Co-Stars to Shut Up

Illustration for article titled Alia Shawkat Says She Wanted to Tell Her Male Co-Stars to Shut Up
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In May, the New York Times published an interview in which the men of Arrested Development behaved like terrible children about Jeffrey Tambor’s reported mistreatment of costar Jessica Walter. Their chatter was so gaslighting that Walter ended up tearfully forgiving Tambor.

“Let me just say one thing that I just realized in this conversation,” Walter said at one point, after her male co-stars had been talking over each other for several minutes to defend Tambor, who she said verbally harassed her. “I have to let go of being angry at him.” The Times released the audio of this segment, and during the conversation Alia Shawkat barely got a chance to speak, with the men sucking up most of the air.


Shawkat spoke publicly about the Q&A for the first time Thursday, telling Broadly:

“Once Jeffrey answered [with] his rote response, the other men in the room started to be a lot more verbal than they had before,” Shawkat said. “They started going on about how they support Jeffrey, and they love him, and he’s a great actor—all these things that I agree with; I care about Jeffrey and I think he’s a great actor. But what continued to go on was, in my opinion, too much.”

But they didn’t stop until Walter started crying [emphasis mine]:

“I finally got a word in edgewise, and [that’s when] Jessica got very emotional and started crying. Once that happened, I realized we were having a public and private conversation at the same time, which is very unnatural. All of a sudden, we’re having this intense moment as a group of people who’ve known each other for 15 years—and it’s being recorded,” she said. “They were almost trying to cover themselves up while simultaneously talking, instead of actually listening to each other—which is the biggest theme that I learned from this whole experience, this 20-minute interview that made so much noise. The minute Jessica started crying, my instinct was just to go up to her and hug her and be like, ‘This interview’s over.’”


Yes, that’s what any normal person would do! Shawkat raised a good point in this interview, which is that afterwards, she received a lot of flack for not speaking up even more. “It makes me angry,” Shawkat said. “[Men implicated in #MeToo] need to be responsible for their own actions. Not me.”

It’s not that hard! Read her full interview here.

Senior Writer, Jezebel

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I have been in many group situations with men, both socially and professional, where it was made clear through inaction and dismissal that my worth was not equal to theirs.

I have also called out behavior from inappropriate joking to outright sexual assault, and a hundred, yes, a HUNDRED percent of the time, the men have closed ranks with each other. Even if they were strangers prior. One particularly heinous time was at a halloween party and a friend’s fiancé trapped me in the bathroom and tried to force me to give him oral sex. All but two girlfriends believed me and the rest took his side, and I never spoke to any of them again, even though they had been close friends, as I thought.