Amazon Investigating ‘Transparent’ Star Jeffrey Tambor after Sexual Harassment Claim

Amazon has reportedly launched an investigation into actor Jeffrey Tambor, star of its hit television series Transparent, after a former assistant to the actor accused him of sexual harassment this week.

A representative for Amazon — which has seen a number of executives, including Amazon Studios head Roy Price, exit the company in recent weeks — confirmed to Deadline that it had begun an investigation into claims by former Tambor assistant Van Barnes.

Barnes, who is transgender, reportedly claimed in a private Facebook message this week that Tambor behaved inappropriately toward her, though details regarding any alleged behavior remained unclear.

As part of its investigation, Amazon will reportedly speak with crew members on Transparent, series creator Jill Soloway, and Tambor himself. According to Deadline, the investigation is in its early stages.

In a statement to Deadline, Tambor — who has won two Emmys and a Golden Globe for his role as Maura Pfefferman on the transgender-themed hit show — called the allegations “baseless.”

Show creator/director Jill Soloway (L) and actor Jeffrey Tambor attend the "Transparent" Cast and Crew Golden Globes Viewing Party at The London West Hollywood on January 11, 2015 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images for Amazon Studios)

Show creator/director Jill Soloway (L) and actor Jeffrey Tambor attend the “Transparent” Cast and Crew Golden Globes Viewing Party at The London West Hollywood on January 11, 2015 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images for Amazon Studios)

Tambor has earned critical praise for his role as transgender Maura Pfefferman on the Amazon series. (Amazon Studios)

“I am aware that a former disgruntled assistant of mine has made a private post implying that I had acted in an improper manner toward her,” Tambor told the outlet. “I adamantly and vehemently reject and deny any and all implication and allegation that I have ever engaged in any improper behavior toward this person or any other person I have ever worked with. I am appalled and distressed by this baseless allegation.”

Amazon Studios chief Roy Price resigned from the company in mid-October after being accused of sexual harassment by producer Isa Hackett, who works on the streamer’s original series The Man in the High Castle. Three other Amazon executives exited the company following Price’s departure.

The accusation against Tambor comes as numerous prominent figures in the entertainment and media industries have been accused of sexual misconduct.

Transparent, which just wrapped its fourth season in September, won Best Television Series – Comedy or Musical at the 2015 Golden Globes.

The series made headlines in September for featuring television’s first full-frontal nude scene involving a transgender actress.

 

Follow Daniel Nussbaum on Twitter: @dznussbaum


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