TV Critic’s Corner

‘Transparent’ will go on without Tambor

Jeffrey Tambor will no longer play Maura Pfefferman.
Merie Wallace/Amazon
Jeffrey Tambor will no longer play Maura Pfefferman.

Well, it looks like “Transparent” is going forward without its trans parent.

Jeffrey Tambor will not be returning to the Amazon series for its fifth season, after a long period of indecision. The actor, who won two Emmys for playing Maura Pfefferman, has been accused by a number of people of misconduct, including sexual harassment by his former personal assistant Van Barnes and inappropriate behavior by show guest star Trace Lysette.

In November, Tambor said he didn’t think he’d return to the show: “The idea that I would deliberately harass anyone is simply and utterly untrue. Given the politicized atmosphere that seems to have afflicted our set, I don’t see how I can return to ‘Transparent.’” But then his spokesperson walked that statement back, saying, “No final decision for next year has been made, either by Jeffrey or by Amazon.”


But Amazon has confirmed Tambor’s departure, and series creator Jill Soloway issued a statement saying, “I have great respect and admiration for Van Barnes and Trace Lysette, whose courage in speaking out about their experience on ‘Transparent’ is an example of the leadership this moment in our culture requires. We are grateful to the many trans people who have supported our vision for Transparent since its inception and remain heartbroken about the pain and mistrust their experience has generated in our community. We are taking definitive action to ensure our workplace respects the safety and dignity of every individual, and are taking steps to heal as a family.”

This is a very sad ending to one of the decade’s best performances.

Matthew Gilbert can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @MatthewGilbert.