Jessica Walter Got Emotional Making Her First Public Comments About Jeffrey Tambor’s Behavior On The ‘Arrested Development’ Set


Jeffrey Tambor’s recent firing from Transparent following allegations of sexual misconduct has become a major focus of Arrested Development‘s season five return. Tambor, who won an Emmy for his role on Transparent, was near the end of filming the new season of Arrested Development when the allegations against him went public, and now the media tour for AD are bringing his past behavior into the forefront. And a reported outburst on the set of Arrested Development by Tambor, directed at his long-time on-screen wife Jessica Walter, has added another layer to reports of Tambor’s work behavior.

In an interview with Walter, Tambor and much of the cast (including Jason Bateman, Alia Shawkat, David Cross, Tony Hale, Will Arnett) by the New York Times, it seems as if the on-screen Bluths are working through what happened for the first time. The entire, lengthy interview is absolutely worth reading, but the segment below sticks out. Here Bateman attempts to explain how he feels something that may happen on-set and in the moment is not necessarily representative of the person, rather the artist trying to work through his process. Shawkat offers a quick and pointed rebuttal for him, and then Walter turns the other cheek, publicly.

BATEMAN: Again, not to belittle it or excuse it or anything, but in the entertainment industry it is incredibly common to have people who are, in quotes, “difficult.” And when you’re in a privileged position to hire people, or have an influence in who does get hired, you make phone calls. And you say, “Hey, so I’ve heard X about person Y, tell me about that.” And what you learn is context. And you learn about character and you learn about work habits, work ethics, and you start to understand. Because it’s a very amorphous process, this sort of [expletive] that we do, you know, making up fake life. It’s a weird thing, and it is a breeding ground for atypical behavior and certain people have certain processes.

SHAWKAT: But that doesn’t mean it’s acceptable. And the point is that things are changing, and people need to respect each other differently.

WALTER [THROUGH TEARS]: Let me just say one thing that I just realized in this conversation. I have to let go of being angry at him. He never crossed the line on our show, with any, you know, sexual whatever. Verbally, yes, he harassed me, but he did apologize. I have to let it go. [Turns to Tambor.] And I have to give you a chance to, you know, for us to be friends again.

Once again, the entire interview is worth reading, as much respect is shared amongst the cast members as they work through the situation that happened during filming. Tambor apologizes and is quick to admit (since he’s the one who brought up his “blow up” to The Hollywood Reporter) that he has issues to work on, while the rest of the cast talks their way through it.

Walter explains that they’re here, now, in front of the Times, discussing this “only because you brought it up, Jeffrey, in that article! I never would have brought it up.”

As emotional and real as the interview gets, this doesn’t seem to be the end of Arrested Development if it decides to continues on for a sixth season. Walter respects and forgives Tambor, saying: “No, no, no, no. Of course, I would work with him again in a heartbeat.”

(Via The New York Times)