In a new interview with Deadline, Arrested Development creator Mitchell Hurwitz gives his recollection of Jeffrey Tambor’s on-set outburst against co-star Jessica Walter. Hurwitz recalled the day, and expressed regret at not realizing how the verbal harassment affected Walter. “I’m guilty of not realizing how deeply upsetting that was for Jessica,” he said. “I heard about it and saw parts of it in the dailies, although the part I saw didn’t seem that — I don’t know — momentous. But fights and outbursts always start with things that are smaller.” In a controversial New York Times interview pegged to the show’s return to Netflix, the show’s male actors jumped to defend Tambor as Walter tearfully recalled being verbally harassed by her co-star on set, though they later apologized to her.
New of Tambor’s tantrum originally broke in a Hollywood Reporter profile where he denied sexually harassing two women on the set of Amazon’s Transparent, but admitted to having a temper. Hurwitz recounted the incident to Deadline:
The incident stemmed, he said, from the differing approaches Tambor and Walter took to a scene. “It was something minor, like he was doing a speech and Jessica wanted to redo something in her speech,” he explained. “She’s a perfectionist, which I have a horrible case of myself, and he’s sort of loose with it, finds his way back if he gets off course within the speech, for instance … And she was resetting and he got upset and was like, ‘Oh, come on! You always do this!’ He continued for a bit and she apologized. ‘I’m sorry, Jeffrey, I’m sorry.’ But he continued and then walked off — the set apparently, but he walked out of frame.”
Although Tambor was fired from Transparent, Hurwitz says the actor will remain on AD. “Amazon hasn’t shared details with us, and we’ve never had any sexual harassment allegations of any type on our show— a point that Jessica Walter has made as well,” Hurwitz said. “To be clear: In saying this I’m not defending sexual harassment. It is and should be a job-terminating offense. I just don’t have any information on whatever happened there. Nor do I have any evidence of him ever sexually harassing anyone in the 20 years, off and on, that I’ve worked with him.”