The Men Of ‘Arrested Development’ Did An Absolutely Trashfire Interview About Jeffrey Tambor
"In almost 60 years of working, I’ve never had anybody yell at me like that on a set," said Jessica Walter.
The cast of Arrested Development have sat down with the New York Times and addressed the allegations against co-star Jeffrey Tambor, in a roundtable interview that is correctly described as ‘raw’… but could also be called a complete dumpster inferno.
Jessica Walter, Jason Bateman, Tony Hale, David Cross, Alia Shawkat and Jeffrey Tambor himself had a frank discussion about the allegations of abusive behaviour on the set of Transparent that were levelled at Tambor last year and led to him being fired.
In the interview, Jessica Walter (who plays the perfect Lucille Bluth) revealed that Tambor had verbally harassed her on the set of Arrested Development too.
“He never crossed the line on our show, with any, you know, sexual whatever. Verbally, yes, he harassed me, but he did apologise. I have to let it go. And I have to give you a chance to, you know, for us to be friends again,” said Walter.
“But it’s hard because honestly — Jason [Bateman] says this happens all the time,” she went on. “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.”
While this is upsetting enough, it’s the way the rest of the men in the cast responded to Walter’s statements that have really raised people’s ire.
Holy shit that Arrested Development roundtable was infuriating & so fucking relatable to women who have tried to speak the truth in a group of men who don’t want to hear it because it makes them uncomfortable
— Lucy O'Brien (@Luceobrien) May 23, 2018
“We’ve all had moments,” said Tony Hale, referencing the verbal abuse that Jessica Walter suffered from Tambor. “But not like that, not like that,” Walter responds. “That was bad.”
Jason Bateman tries to diminish the accusation of verbal abuse, saying “not to belittle what happened” but it’s something “which we’ve all done, by the way.”
He continues with a long monologue:
“But this is a family and families, you know, have love, laughter, arguments — again, not to belittle it, but a lot of stuff happens in 15 years. I know nothing about Transparent but I do know a lot about Arrested Development. And I can say that no matter what anybody in this room has ever done — and we’ve all done a lot, with each other, for each other, against each other — I wouldn’t trade it for the world and I have zero complaints.”
Later on he continues to fail to not belittle:
“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 behaviour and certain people have certain processes.”
There’s even audio of Jessica Walter crying during the interview, while the rest of the men in the cast attempt to downplay her experience. It’s pretty distressing.
Here’s audio of Jessica Walter CRYING, standing up for herself after all the men in the AD cast try to gaslight her into thinking Tambor’s harassment isn’t THAT bad. This is horrific. pic.twitter.com/innJv8LIYF
— Kevin T. Porter (@KevinTPorter) May 23, 2018
Notably absent from the majority of the discussion is Alia Shawkat, who plays Maeby in the show.
When Jason Bateman tried to spin Tambor’s behaviour as “typical”, Shawkat interjected with: “But that doesn’t mean it’s acceptable.”
— ryan teague beckwith (@ryanbeckwith) May 23, 2018
The response has been pretty damning.
this is the story of a wealthy group of men who are willing to excuse everything; and the two women in the room who had no choice but to keep them all bouyant even as they were crying https://t.co/qZebwO3Vd0
— rachel syme (@rachsyme) May 23, 2018
This interview is really a perfect distillation of how people feel the need to protect and comfort powerful men at the expense of the people they’ve hurt. She was in the room. Crying. Everyone but Shawkat just wanted to defend him and move on. https://t.co/1bv4JHesW2
— Marin Cogan (@marincogan) May 23, 2018
fuck jeffrey tambor, fuck jason bateman, fuck arrested development
— Avery Edison (@aedison) May 23, 2018
Jessica Walter received a Golden Globe nomination in 1971, when Jason Bateman was two years old, and he thinks he should explain to her how show business works.
— Connor Goldsmith (@dreamoforgonon) May 23, 2018
men are so eager to defend male co-stars, colleagues, friends who've been accused of abuse bc "we're all a big family" or some bullshit, fuck that – if you genuinely care deeply about people you hold them accountable for their actions
— allison gallagher (@allisongallaghr) May 23, 2018
I mean it's one interview Michael, what could it cost. Your reputation?
— Bec Shaw (@Brocklesnitch) May 23, 2018