‘Arrested Development’ Creator Explains Why Jeffrey Tambor Wasn’t Cut From S5

For the past few months, the giant, banana stand-shaped elephant in the room hanging over the head of Arrested Development S5 has been the presence of Jeffrey Tambor in the series, despite the actor’s on-going saga surrounding allegations of harassment and abuse during his time on the Amazon show Transparent.

Tambor was fired from Transparent in February, following an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment and inappropriate behaviour by his former assistant Van Barnes, and Transparent guest star Trace Lysette. Tambor vehemently denied the allegations, labelling the investigation into them “deeply flawed and biased” and the allegations themselves “baseless.” Specific details of the allegations have not been made public.

Regardless, Tabor completed filming on the Netflix-backed fifth season of Arrested Development, and will remain in the series. Much of the show’s cast, including the likes of David Cross, have publicly backed Tambor in the saga, and now series creator Mitch Hurwitz has confirmed that not only will Tambor not be cut from the season, but he gave his reasoning as to why.

Speaking with Entertainment Weekly ahead of the fifth season’s release, Hurwitz asserted that Tambor was “as surprised by [the allegations] as I was” when they surfaced back in November. He also acknowledged that Tambor can be “difficult” to work with at times, and was a “grump” on occasion. But Hurwitz was also at pains to state that “Jeffrey has never evidenced that kind of behaviour” while on set at Arrested Development. Hurwitz also claimed that no one at Arrested Development, Netflix, or 20th Century Fox had received similar complaints about Tambor.

Hurwitz also questioned Amazon’s investigation and, brow-furrowingly enough, the nature of the accusations themselves in asserting why Tambor’s role would not be cut out of Season 5.

We were done shooting — there was no version of cutting him out of the show, or there would be no show.

Am I going to cut Jeffrey out of the show, based on allegations that he disputes, that Amazon hasn’t shared, and that we have never experienced any complaints about? No, of course I am not going to…. I’m going to support Jeffrey.

Arrested Development Season 5 lands on US Netflix this Friday, May 29th. Due to a series of distribution contracts signed back in the day, Foxtel has the first-run rights to the show in Australia, meaning it will not drop on Australian Netflix at the same time as everywhere else.

Foxtel has not released plans to air the season at this stage.