Actor Jeffrey Tambor is leaving Transparent. The monumental move comes a week and a half after Tambor’s personal assistant, a trans woman named Van Barnes, accused him of sexual harassment in a private Facebook post, prompting an investigation by Amazon Studios. And on Thursday of last week, Transparent guest star Trace Lysette came forward with her own accusations of inappropriate behavior. Tambor strongly denied both allegations, and now the actor has made the decision to leave Transparent altogether.
In a statement (via Variety), Tambor cited the series’ “politicized atmosphere” as the reason for his departure:
“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. 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.’
Tambor won the Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series Emmy Award for the first two seasons of the show, losing out to Donald Glover in Atlanta this past year. He’s anchored the series since Day One, as the show—inspired by creator Jill Soloway’s personal experiences—follows a retired college professor who finally opens up to her family about always identifying as a woman. And while the show has become more ensemble in nature as of late, losing Tambor is a major change of pace for the series.
Season 4 was just released in September so production had yet to begin on Season 5. It’s unclear what path Soloway and Amazon will take now, but whatever it is, we’ve likely seen the last of Maura Pfefferman.
Meanwhile, Tambor is currently in the midst of filming a fifth season of Arrested Development for Netflix, which debuts in 2018.