In November, multiple allegations of sexual misconduct broke, claiming that Jeffrey Tambor, the beloved and lauded star of Jill Soloway’s Transparent, had been inappropriate with members of the cast and crew. In response to these allegations, Tambor said “Given the politicized atmosphere that seems to have afflicted our set, I don’t see how I can return to Transparent,” leading many to understand that the actor was resigning from the show. However, a new report from the New York Times says otherwise.
Despite Tambor’s initial statement, the Times reports that Tambor has “no plans” to step down from his role, leaving employees of Transparent—which has been praised for its progressiveness and its nurturing, safe set—wondering how they’ll move forward:
In his own statement, Mr. Tambor referred obliquely to his own sense of discomfort with what was happening on “Transparent,” saying that a “politicized atmosphere” had afflicted the set. “This is no longer the job I signed up for,” he said.
A few days later, in a new statement provided to The Times, Mr. Mayer expanded on Mr. Tambor’s position: “What he said was that given the toxic atmosphere and the politicization on the set, it’s very hard for him to see how he can possibly return. But no final decision for next year has been made, either by Jeffrey or by Amazon.” He declined to elaborate on what Mr. Tambor meant by toxic atmosphere and politicization of the set.
Tambor is accused of being sexually inappropriate with Trace Lysette, a trans actor on the show, and his assistant, Van Barnes, another trans woman. Writing to the Times, Soloway wrote that she takes “what Van Barnes and Trace Lysette are saying very seriously,” but did not further elaborate on plans for the show and Tambor.
Both Lysette and Transparent writer Our Lady J have spoken publicly about using this as an opportunity to pivot the story away from Tambor’s character, trans woman Maura Pfefferman, and focus on other trans characters—played by trans actors:
In an interview with The Times, Ms. Lysette said she hoped the show would evolve to focus on transgender experiences beyond those of Mr. Tambor’s character. “Like, come on,” said Ms. Lysette, who is transgender. “We have a lot to share, and the world wants to see it, and I just think that it sucks that so much rides on these leading men.”
As Our Lady J wrote on Instagram, “We cannot let trans content be taken down by a single cis man.”