Like its protagonist, Maura Pfefferman, “Transparent” is undergoing another monumental transition: Moving on without the actor who brought her to life, Jeffrey Tambor. The Emmy-winning Amazon series, created by Jill Soloway, faces an uncertain future following allegations of sexual misconduct against Tambor. Amazon Studios had already renewed “Transparent” for a fifth season in August, three months before two women, Van Barnes and actress Trace Lysette, accused Tambor of sexual harassment. In February, Amazon announced Tambor would not be returning to the series following an investigation into the allegations.
Many are wondering how the series can move forward without its main character, including Amazon. In an interview with Deadline, newly instated Amazon Studios head Jennifer Salke said she was uncertain what a fifth season of the series would look like, or if one would happen at all. (Soloway identifies as gender non-binary. Salke’s comments have been edited to include Soloway’s preferred pronouns).
“Within days of my new job being announced, I spent hours with Jill [Soloway], who I knew, and we talked a lot about what [they] wanted to do and where everybody was creatively with the season. Right now we’re in a place where [they’re] taking a little bit of time, figuring out what [they] think that final season will be, and then we’re going to talk in September about what the plan will be. I do think there’ll be some version of a season five, but that’s not decided, and what form it takes is also undecided. Is it a full series? Is it four episodes? Is it a movie? Those conversations are literally all going on and have been set aside for a month, because she and I decided that. [They’ve] got a full slate of other things [they’re] focused on.”
When asked to confirm that Tambor would not be involved, Salke said: “I’ve never heard anything about it. No, no Tambor.”
Tambor is currently appearing in Season 5 of “Arrested Development” on Netflix. After conducting its own investigation of Tambor’s behavior on the “Arrested” set, Netflix found no wrongdoing. “I am profoundly disappointed in Amazon’s handling of these false accusations against me,” Tambor said in a statement after he was let go from “Transparent.” “I deeply regret if any action of mine was ever misinterpreted by anyone and I will continue to vehemently defend myself.”
A source at Amazon told Deadline that Tambor’s behavior “could not be justified or excused under scrutiny.”