Jeffrey Tambor has issued a stinging attack on Amazon after he was fired Thursday from his starring role as Maura Pfefferman in the hit transgender-themed show Transparent for alleged sexual misconduct.
In an angry statement, Tambor, 73, who played a trans woman on the show, described the sexual harassment allegations by two co-workers on the lauded Amazon production as ‘false accusations.’
Tambor was fired after accusations by his assistant and his transgender co-star Trace Lysette.
Lysette detailed her allegations in a post on social media in November in which she wrote of Tambor: “He came in close, put his bare feet on top of mine so I could not move, leaned his body against me, and began quick, discreet thrusts back and forth against my body. I felt his penis on my hip through his thin pajamas.”
She called for Tambor to be fired at that time, saying, “Don’t let the trans community suffer for the actions of one cis male actor.” Cis is an abbreviation for “cisgender", a term often used in the trans community to denote a person whose gender identity concurs with their assigned gender. The term is not derogatory.
Lysette came forward after allegations of sexual misconduct by Van Barnes, a trans woman who worked as Tambor's personal assistant. She previously appeared on E!'s I Am Cait.
Barnes claimed Tambor had propositioned her, made lewd comments, groped her and threatened her if she shared her story, according to reports.
According to CNN, Tambor said in a statement: "I am profoundly disappointed in Amazon's handling of these false accusations against me. I am even more disappointed in [showrunner] Jill Soloway's unfair characterization of me as someone who would ever cause harm to any of my fellow cast mates.
“In our four-year history of working together on this incredible show, these accusations have NEVER been revealed or discussed directly with me or anyone at Amazon. Therefore, I can only surmise that the investigation against me was deeply flawed and biased toward the toxic politicized atmosphere that afflicted our set.
“As I have consistently stated, I deeply regret if any action of mine was ever misinterpreted by anyone and I will continue to vehemently defend myself. I also deeply regret that this ground breaking show, which changed so many lives, is now in jeopardy. That, to me, is the biggest heartbreak."
Lysette posted on social media after news of Tambor's firing: