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Jason Bateman Apologizes for Defending Jeffrey Tambor's Harassment of Jessica Walter

"I was wrong here," he said

Sadie Gennis

On Wednesday, the New York Times published an interview with the majority of the cast of Arrested Development. In the wide-ranging discussion, a tearful Jessica Walter said she forgave Jeffrey Tambor for verbally harassing her on set.

Although Walter said she would work with Tambor again, she made it clear that the actor, who was fired from Transparentafter being investigated for sexual misconduct on the set of the Amazon show, crossed a line with what he said to her. While his harassment of her wasn't sexual in nature, it hurt her deeply. "In like almost 60 years of working, I've never had anybody yell at me like that on a set. And it's hard to deal with, but I'm over it now," she said.

However, the male cast members present for the interview, particularly Jason Bateman, attempted to normalize and downplay Tambor's inappropriate behavior. Many people got rightfully up in arms over the male stars' treatment of Walter, and on Thursday Bateman issued an apology for his remarks on Twitter.

Arrested Development's Jessica Walter Says Jeffrey Tambor Verbally Abused Her

"Based on listening to the NYT interview and hearing people's thoughts online, I realize that I was wrong here," he wrote. "I sound like I'm condoning yelling at work. I do not. It sounds like I'm excusing Jeffrey. I do not. It sounds like I'm insensitive to Jessica. I am not."

Bateman went on to say that he was "so eager" to show Tambor that he was supported that he "completely underestimated the feelings of the victim, another person I deeply love."

Jason Bateman and David Cross, Arrested Development
Mike Yarish/Netflix

During the New York Times interview, Bateman waved off Tambor's treatment of Walter, saying it was just part of working in the industry. "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.' ... 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," he said.

In the tweets on Thursday, Bateman shared: "I'm incredibly embarrassed and deeply sorry to have done that to Jessica. This is a big learning moment for me. I shouldn't have tried so hard to mansplain, or fix a fight, or make everything okay. I shouldn't focused more on what the most important part of it all is - there's never an excuse for abuse, in any form, from any gender. And, the victim's voice needs to be heard and respected. Period."

"I didn't say that and instead said a bunch of other stuff and not very well. I deeply, and sincerely, apologize," he concluded.

Read Bateman's full statement below.