(Editor’s Note: Shortly after posting this article, Flagrant learned that Jeffrey Tambor has left the award-winning series.)
Amazon is in murky water again. A little over a month after Amazon head Roy Price was suspended over a sexual harassment claim, Transparent star Jeffrey Tambor May may lose his Emmy-winning role on the Amazon Original show after his own harassment scandal has come to light.
Both Tambor’s former assistant, Van Barnes, and his costar, Trace Lysette, have accused Tambor of sexually inappropriate behavior, and showrunner Jill Soloway is said to be considering writing out his character. While the show’s writing staff have already begun to plot out Season 5, which premieres in late 2018, Soloway is reportedly not averse to killing off Tambor’s protagonist Maura, around which the show is based.
The allegations themselves remain surprising — in no small part due to Soloway’s public commitment to maintaining a “safe” and “supportive” environment on set. Shouldn’t Lysette and Barnes have felt comfortable telling Soloway directly, considering the Emmy-winning director’s mission to “topple the patriarchy” and create a safe space at work? We’d rather not believe that Soloway is willing to overlook her own values, and thus shelter Tambor, in order to keep the show alive, so we assume there must have been some interference from someone like, say, Roy Price.
Soloway appeared at a panel Saturday and would not directly address the allegations. “We have our own complications on Transparent,” she said. “And because there is an investigation that we are amidst I am not able to say anything at all about it. I’m trying to just protect the process and make sure that we do the most, have a process with the most integrity to make sure that everybody, that turns out fair, so I’ve been asked not to speak at all about it.”
In any case, the show has recently started shifting its focus to secondary and supporting characters, so the hypothetical loss of Maura theoretically wouldn’t create a major void. But still, the idea of spending four seasons following the touching, inspirational story of Maura, just to suddenly kill her off, feels a little, uh, opaque.