Movies & TV / News

Jeffrey Tambor Accused of Sexual Harassment By Transparent Co-Star

November 17, 2017 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Transparent Trace Lysette Jeffrey Tambor

Jeffrey Tambor has beenm accused of sexual harassment by a second person. Trace Lysette claims the Transparent star harassed her in season two of the series, according to THR. Alexandra Billings, who also appears on the show, was witness to at least part of the alleged harassment.

According to Lysette, who plays Shea on the Amazon show, Tambor said to her when she came out to shoot a scene in the salmon-colored lingerie top and matching short-shorts that was her costume, “My God, Trace. I want to attack you sexually.” This is the statement that Billings, who plays Davina, says she overheard. Lysette says they laughed off the comment at the time, “because it was so absurd.” Lysette says that a few minutes later, after waiting for a camera setup between takes, Tambor came up to her.

“He came in close, put his bare feet on top of mine so I could not move, leaned his body against me, and began quick, discreet thrust back and forth against my body. I felt his penis on my hip through his thin pajamas,” Lysette says. She says she pushed him away and that while several crew members were nearby, “they were focused on their jobs. It was discreet. If you were behind Jeffrey you might have thought he was giving me a hug.”

The allegation is the second against Tambor. Van Barnes, the ex-assistant of Tambor’s on the show, accused Tambor earlier this month of acting “inappropriately” with her without further clarification. Amazon has been investigating the claims.

Lysette said, “Despite multiple uncomfortable experiences with Jeffrey, it has been an incredible, career-solidifying honor to bring life to my character Shea on Amazon’s Transparent. Working on the award-winning series as a low-income trans woman with active roots in New York’s ball culture is a rare opportunity most of my sisters are not given. My hope is that Amazon can find the good in this, and use this as an opportunity, a teachable moment to re-center the other trans characters in this show with the family members instead of just pulling it. Let our brilliant writers continue to craft something that is entertaining and creates a social change the way they know how. Don’t let the trans community suffer for the actions of one cis male actor… I call on Amazon to make another bold affirmative move to our communities, remove the problem and let the show go on.”

Tambor has issued the following response to Lysette’s allegations:

“For the past four years, I’ve had the huge privilege — and huge responsibility — of playing Maura Pfefferman, a transgender woman, in a show that I know has had an enormous, positive impact on a community that has been too long dismissed and misunderstood. Now I find myself accused of behavior that any civilized person would condemn unreservedly. I know I haven’t always been the easiest person to work with. I can be volatile and ill-tempered, and too often I express my opinions harshly and without tact. But I have never been a predator – ever. I am deeply sorry if any action of mine was ever misinterpreted by anyone as being sexually aggressive or if I ever offended or hurt anyone. But the fact is, for all my flaws, I am not a predator and the idea that someone might see me in that way is more distressing than I can express.”