Jeffrey Tambor was fired from the set of Transparent after an investigation into the claims made by several women on set who claimed Tambor subjected them to sexual harassment. One of those women, Van Barnes, has come forward to detail what her experience with Tambor was like, and ask why Amazon hasn’t stepped up to help her.
In a Wednesday morning interview on Megyn Kelly Today, Barnes explained that she initially posted about her experience with Tambor under the hashtag #MeToo without naming him, on her private Facebook page. She was surprised that it snowballed from there. Barnes worked with Tambor as his assistant on a number of projects, not just Transparent.
“Continually, I was always harassed,” said Barnes. “It ran the gamut of sexual harassment, physical harassment, and verbal abuse constantly. And this all really falls under the problem that Hollywood has right now of the abuse of power and misogyny.”
Barnes said the harassment would always increase during job negotiation times, when Barnes was close to finding out when she’d be hired on the next project. She said he’d start making comments like, “Why haven’t we slept together?”
It wasn’t a one-time thing, according to Barnes, but would come up several times a week. She attempted to deflect, but admitted that as a transgender woman in Hollywood, she felt at times as though she couldn’t take a stand without endangering her career.
Barnes also said she told Tambor over and over again that she was married, but one day in frustration simply told him, “I’m not comfortable with my body.”
Barnes said Tambor responded, “I’m comfortable with it.”
During an earlier project, Tambor had stayed at her home for two weeks as he looked for housing, a situation she now looks back on skeptically. Barnes said that Tambor told her he spied on her as she slept naked. At first she thought he was joking, she said, but then he told her she slept with one arm up over her head.
“It’s so creepy. This is a man I had put my trust in,” she said. Megyn Kelly then asked her if she thinks that Amazon cutting ties was the right response to his alleged transgressions.
“Partially. Him being fired is just in a male-driven Hollywood. And he brought this on himself. but they haven’t completed the whole process of helping me back up on my feet,” said Barnes, adding, “I’m speaking up for the next victim.”