Transparent will end after its upcoming fifth season, creator Jill Soloway confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter. The news came as part of a profile of Jeffrey Tambor, the Emmy-winning star of the show who was fired in February due to sexual harassment allegations against him from trans women who worked on the Amazon series.
Soloway said that the show’s writers are currently figuring out how to tackle the show’s Tambor-less final season. “Hopefully it sets the Pfeffermans up with some sort of beautiful reclaiming,” Soloway said. “I think we’re going to get there with some time.”
Tambor won back-to-back Emmys for his performance of trans woman Maura Pfefferman, but from the start the show was criticized by trans activists for the casting of a cisgender (a person whose gender identity corresponds with the sex they were assigned at birth) man instead of a trans woman. In the interview with THR, Tambor said that his fear of getting the character wrong, as well as the show’s uncomfortably intimate set, led to him acting inappropriately. He said he was “mean” and yelled at people on set, but still denies any sexual misconduct.
But the women accusing him of harassment, actress Trace Lysette and his former assistant Van Barnes, are adamant that he harassed them, and have given detailed accounts of the verbal harassment and unwanted touching they say Tambor subjected them to. Barnes says that Tambor even watched her as she slept naked during a brief period of time they were living together before production began on Season 2 (Tambor denies this accusation).
Transparent Creator Jill Soloway and Amazon Hit with Massive Fine For I Love Dick
Soloway maintained that the situation is complicated. “It’s not a simple case of did he do it or didn’t he do it,” they said of the accusations against Tambor. “Nobody said he was a predator — they said he sexually harassed people. He made enemies, and I don’t think he realized he was making enemies. You have to be very, very careful if you’re a person in power and treat people very appropriately.”
But the allegations against Tambor were credible enough that producers decided they’d rather continue the show without the star than work with him again. The Hollywood Reporter article gives him room to tell his side of the story, but the fact of his firing remains.
Transparent Season 5 is slated for 2019. Tambor will be seen later this month in Season 5 of Arrested Development.