Jeffrey Tambor to quit Amazon series, Ratner in hot water

Jeffrey Tambor
Jeffrey Tambor

LOS ANGELES • It was clear to Emmy-winning actor Jeffrey Tambor that he had to quit the show Transparent after two women accused him of sexual harassment.

On Sunday, he announced that he is leaving the Amazon series.

Deadline Hollywood magazine said the show had already been considering writing off the character played by the actor, after allegations first emerged earlier this month.

"I've already made clear my deep regret if any action of mine was ever misinterpreted by anyone as being aggressive, but the idea that I would deliberately harass anyone is simply and utterly untrue," Tambor said.

"Given the politicised atmosphere that seems to have afflicted our set, I don't see how I can return to Transparent."

Tambor, 73, has won acclaim for his portrayal of a transgender woman whose family is coming to terms with the transition.

His former assistant, transgender actress Van Barnes, said he had propositioned her on several occasions, groped her and threatened to sue her if she made the behaviour known.

Another transgender actress on the show, Trace Lysette, said Tambor had made lewd remarks and been "physical" with her at least once.

Meanwhile, more mud has been flung on director Brett Ratner who is among several big names in Hollywood, including producer Harvey Weinstein and actor Kevin Spacey, embroiled in a sexual storm.

Ms Keri Claussen Khalighi has accused Ratner, 48, and hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons of improper behaviour in a 1991 incident. She was then a 17-year-old model.

She claimed that Simmons made sexual advances at his home while Ratner "just sat there and watched", reported the Los Angeles Times.

"I fought it wildly," she said, adding that she asked Ratner for help. "I'll never forget the look on his face. In that moment, the realisation fell on me that they were in it together."

In response, Simmons, 60, who co-founded the Def Jam label, said: "Everything that occurred between Keri and me occurred with her full consent and participation."

Ratner's lawyer said the director had no memory of Ms Khalighi asking for help.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 21, 2017, with the headline 'Jeffrey Tambor to quit Amazon series, Ratner in hot water'. Print Edition | Subscribe