Jason Bateman is open to doing more “Arrested Development,” but he won’t stay with the series if Jeffrey Tambor is not involved. The actor told The New York Times, during a sit-down conversation with the whole cast, that his future with the Netflix revival series is dependent on Tambor remaining involved. “I won’t do it without you,” Bateman told Tambor, who said he hoped for more seasons in the future. “I can tell you that.”
Tambor has been accused of sexual harassment by his former assistant Van Barnes and his former “Transparent” co-star Trace Lysette. Amazon conducted an investigation into the sexual harassment allegations and eventually fired Tambor from his starring role on “Transparent.” But “Arrested Development” creator Mitch Hurwitz never received complaints about Tambor during the making of his show, and thus decided to keep Tambor’s role in the upcoming fifth season.
While Tambor never was accused of sexual harassment on the “Arrested Development” set, he was accused of verbally harassing co-star Jessica Walter. Hurwitz said Tambor was difficult sometimes during filming, and Walter told The Times that she had never been yelled at in her 60 years of acting the way Tambor yelled at her during one day of filming. Walter did not disclose details of the encounter but said she is learning to let go and forgive Tambor. Bateman said Tambor’s behavior was not uncommon in the industry.
“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,'” Bateman said. “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.”
“Arrested Development” returns to Netflix on May 29. The first half of Season 5 will be available to stream.