Transparent star Jeffrey Tambor has responded to allegations leveled against him by his co-star Trace Lysette by admitting that he has "flaws" but is not a "predator," according to The Hollywood Reporter.
In a statement posted to Twitter on Thursday, Lysette described a disturbing encounter she says she had with Tambor while filming Season 2 of the Amazon dramedy in which Tambor cornered her and thrusted his penis against her body. Lysette also recounted a series of inappropriate sexual remarks Tambor allegedly made towards her to THR, including the Golden Globe winner once telling the actress, "I want to attack you sexually."
In response to Lysette's statement, Tambor provided one of his own to THR in which he says he never did anything "sexually aggressive" and apologizes for offending anyone:
"For the past four years, I've had the huge privilege — and huge responsibility - of playing Maura Pfefferman, a transgender woman, in a show that I know has had an enormous, positive impact on a community that has been too long dismissed and misunderstood. Now I find myself accused of behavior that any civilized person would condemn unreservedly.
I know I haven't always been the easiest person to work with. I can be volatile and ill-tempered, and too often I express my opinions harshly and without tact. But I have never been a predator - ever.
"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."
Lysette is the second trans woman who worked with Tambor on Transparent to accuse him of harassment. Van Barnes, Tambor's former assistant, wrote a Facebook post last week accusing the actor of acting inappropriately toward her. At the time, Tambor dismissed the accusations as false allegations from a "disgruntled" former employee and denied ever acting improperly toward anyone he'd ever worked with.
Amazon Studios launched an investigation into Tambor's behavior after Barnes' accusations came to light.
Transparent has been renewed for a fifth season, but its future is now uncertain. Its writers are reportedly considering writing Tambor's character Maura Pfefferman out of the show, a choice Lysette would support.
"My hope is that Amazon can find the good in this, and use this as an opportunity, a teachable moment to re-center the other trans characters in this show with the family members instead of just pulling it," Lysette wrote. "Let our brilliant writers continue to craft something that is entertaining and creates a social change the way they know how. Don't let the trans community suffer for the actions of one cis male actor."
Amazon Studios has been hit particularly hard in the post-Harvey Weinstein crackdown on harassers. Last month, studio chief Roy Price stepped down after it came to light that he had sexually harassed Man in the High Castle executive producer Isa Hackett and the studio scrapped an expensive series starring Robert De Niro that was produced by The Weinstein Company. The fate of Amazon's other expensive former Weinstein production, The Romanoffs, is unknown after creator Matthew Weiner was accused of sexual harassment.