Actress Trace Lysette has accused co-star Jeffrey Tambor of sexual misconduct.
Lysette, who plays Shea on Amazon’s “Transparent,” posted a statement on Twitter on Thursday night accusing Tambor of making “many sexual advances and comments” about her while they worked together. She wrote that she was prompted to come forward after Tambor’s former assistant, Van Barnes, accused him of acting inappropriately with her.
“Sadly, I must add my voice to the chorus,” Lysette wrote. “Jeffrey has acted inappropriately with me too.”
Lysette says that out of the many times Tambor allegedly behaved inappropriately, there was only one time it became physical. She wrote that she and Tambor were shooting a “Transparent” scene with co-star Alexandra Billings when Tambor forcibly rubbed his body up against Lysette’s.
Later, in between takes, I stood in a corner on the set as the crew reset for a wide shot. My back was against the wall in a corner as Jeffrey approached me. 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 thrusts back and forth against my body. I felt his penis on my hip through his thin pajamas and I pushed him off of me. Again, I laughed it off and rolled my eyes. I had a job to do and I had to do it with Jeffrey, the lead of our show. When they called action, I put that moment in the corner into its own corner of my mind.
“Transparent,” which centers on a trans woman played by Tambor, has won eight Emmys and been hailed as a revolutionary show. It has employed more trans actors than any other production in Hollywood’s history.
Lysette urged Amazon to not let the trans community suffer because of “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,” she wrote. “It’s vital that the show’s creator, show runner and its studio re-center the narrative of Transparent on the experiences of the other trans characters and the family members audiences have grown to love on the series.”
Read her full account below.
Tambor responded to Lysette’s accusations in a statement to Deadline on Thursday night, writing that he “can be volatile and ill-tempered,” but is not a predator:
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.