Jeffrey Tambor will not be reprising his role as Maura Pfefferman on Season 5 of Amazon's Transparent, following several allegations of sexual harassment that have been lodged against the series lead.
Tambor announced that he'd walk away from the show, whose fifth season was expected to come along some time next year, in light of the complaints against him.
In a statement to Deadline, Tambor expressed regret for his behavior, but he vehemently denies that he is guilty of the harassment he's been accused of. "Playing Maura Pfefferman on Transparent has been one of the greatest privileges and creative experiences of my life. What has become clear over the past weeks, however, is that this is no longer the job I signed up for four years ago," he said. "I've already made clear my deep regret if any action of mine was ever misinterpreted by anyone as being aggressive, but the idea that I would deliberately harass anyone is simply and utterly untrue. Given the politicized atmosphere that seems to have afflicted our set, I don't see how I can return to Transparent."
Amazon had previously announced it was investigating Tambor after his former assistant Van Barnes accused the actor of inappropriate behavior to her, which Tambor vehemently denied, saying, "I adamantly and vehemently reject and deny any and all implication and allegation that I have ever engaged in any improper behavior toward this person or any other person I have ever worked with. I am appalled and distressed by this baseless allegation."
Then co-star Trace Lysette revealed that he'd been sexually aggressive to her on the set of the show's second season, including an incident when he'd pushed here into a corner and thrust his privates at her own body.
Tambor initially apologized for his behavior but again denied being a sexual predator to Lysette or others on the show, writing, "I am deeply sorry if any action of mine was ever misinterpreted by anyone as being sexually aggressive or if I ever offended or hurt anyone. But the fact is, for all my flaws, I am not a predator and the idea that someone might see me in that way is more distressing than I can express."
Following Van Barnes' initial revelation, Deadline revealed that the showrunners were already considering ways to write Tambor's character out of the show — and writer-producer Our Lady J and series creator Jill Solloway certainly expressed their support for writing Tambor out amid the allegations.
Whether and how Transparent can proceed without Tambor remains to be seen, as Amazon hasn't officially announced a fifth season for the show yet, despite wide expectations that the awards season regular would return.
Tambor won two consecutive Emmy Awards and one Golden Globe for his performance in the series.