It’s been five years since fresh Arrested Development episodes hit Netflix and less than a week since the sh*t hit the fan after the New York Times led a dysfunctional family therapy session with the cast. In that session, accusations of on-set misconduct against Jeffrey Tambor were pushed back into the spotlight — both the allegations of sexual harassment that led to his dismissal from Transparent in February, as well as the verbal abuse against Jessica Walter on the Arrested Development set this season that Tambor alluded to in a THR profile three weeks ago.
The controversy wasn’t necessarily due to anything Tambor said in the Times interview, but was more about the response from castmates Jason Bateman, Tony Hale, David Cross, and Will Arnett, who either rushed to minimize Walter’s experience, or otherwise brushed it off — which had the effect of expressing support for Tambor. This as Walter sat in the room beside her co-stars (Tambor included), denying assertions that his behavior toward her felt commonplace based on her 60 years of on-set experience. It’s a shocking read, and the audio, which includes a tearful Walter, is even more impactful.
The decision to separate the art from the artist (or to not) is one we’ve all been forced to make more often recently, taking many things into account. Still, some of us just want to just be entertained. Personally, I’m a little exhausted by the last week’s worth of Arrested Development goings-on, so I’m going to leave the last three episodes of season five in the queue for awhile after having binged on the first five (which start slow but hit that familiar Arrested Development rhythm by the halfway point) to prep for my own interview with some of the cast after the Times interview had taken place. What transpired was a pretty standard press tour interview with Alia Shawkat, Bateman, Hale, Arnett, and Tambor. There’s some group goofiness mixed with a few insights, some talk about re-finding their characters, and joking about Trump in season five. It may qualify as a fun read for fans and/or as an interesting snapshot of the cast prior to the rise of a public controversy.