It’s not quite a surprise, as “Arrested” was renewed prior to recent allegations of inappropriate conduct against the actor, and was filmed months ago, with Tambor a part of the production. Most of the show’s Season 5 has already been shot by the time those allegations involving him had emerged.
Additionally, according to a high-level Netflix exec, the streaming service did indeed check into the actor’s behavior, in light of allegations against the actor on the set of his Amazon series “Transparent.” While Amazon found cause to remove Tambor from that show, Netflix found that there were no complaints from anyone about Tambor on the set of “Arrested,” nor had there been throughout the show’s earlier run on Fox.
Netflix and 20th Century Fox TV had previously been mum about Tambor’s involvement in Season 5, but Variety first reported confirmation from a Netflix spokesperson that the actor would indeed be back.
Tambor was initially accused of sexual harassment by his former assistant, Van Barnes, and later by “Transparent” co-star Trace Lysette, who also shared her own harassment allegation shortly after. At first it appeared that Tambor then quit the show, but later it was clarified that he had not plans to leave. Amazon, however, launched an investigation into the claims, which ended in Tambor being removed from the series in February.
“I am profoundly disappointed in Amazon’s handling of these false accusations against me. I am even more disappointed in Jill Soloway’s unfair characterization of me as someone who would ever cause harm to any of my fellow cast mates,” Tambor said in a statement after he was let go. “In our four-year history of working together on this incredible show, these accusations have NEVER been revealed or discussed directly with me or anyone at Amazon. Therefore, I can only surmise that the investigation against me was deeply flawed and biased toward the toxic politicized atmosphere that afflicted our set. As I have consistently stated, I deeply regret if any action of mine was ever misinterpreted by anyone and I will continue to vehemently defend myself. I also deeply regret that this ground-breaking show, which changed so many lives, is now in jeopardy. That, to me, is the biggest heartbreak.”
It’s unclear how extensive Netflix’s investigation into Tambor’s behavior was, but insiders believe the service won’t experience blowback because there’s no evidence of any imappropriate behavior on the “Arrested” set.
Cast member David Cross had previously told amNY that many members of the cast “stand behind” the actor and were hopeful he would return for the upcoming fifth season. “I can’t speak for everybody, but I know there are a number of us who stand behind him — from the limited amount we know, we stand behind Jeffrey — and I am one of them,” Cross told the outlet.
News of Tambor’s continued presence on “Arrested” comes the day that Netflix releases a new chronological edit of Season 4 by creator Mitch Hurwitz. Jason Bateman, Will Arnett, Portia de Rossi, Tony Hale, Jessica Walter, Michael Cera, and Alia Shawkat also star on “Arrested Development” with Cross and Tambor. Netflix has not yet announced a premiere date for Season 5, as Hurwitz continues to put the finishing touches on the show.