Arrested Building co-stars say sorry to Jessica Walter amid interview backlash


Jason Bateman and Tony Hale are apologizing for comments they made in defence of their Arrested Development co-star Jeffrey Tambor, who has been accused of verbal harassment of another co-star, Jessica Walter, on the show’s set.

In a series of tweets Thursday, Bateman says his comments were “wrong” and that it seemed like he was “condoning yelling at work.” 

“I was so eager to let Jeffrey know that he was supported in his attempt to learn, grow and apologize that I completely underestimated the feelings of the victim, another person I deeply love — and she was sitting right there,” Bateman wrote in a string of Twitter posts.

“I’m incredibly embarrassed and deeply sorry to have done that to Jessica. This is a big learning moment for me. I shouldn’t have tried so hard to mansplain, or fix a fight, or make everything OK.”

Bateman was reacting to a cast interview in the New York Times in which Walter, at times in tears, discussed Tambor verbally harassing her on the set — something Tambor himself had previously referenced as a “blowup” in a recent interview with the Hollywood Reporter.

“In … almost 60 years of working, I’ve never had anybody yell at me like that on a set,” Walter said in the Times piece.

The complicated discussion stemmed from the reunited cast’s comments about allegations of sexual misconduct by Tambor on the set of another series, Transparent

Online backlash

The New York Times interview, conducted in advance of Arrested Development‘s return to Netflix for a fifth season next week, sparked a massive backlash on social media.

Critics have accused the male stars of downplaying Tambor’s verbal harassment on the Arrested Development set at the expense of Walter.

During the interview, as her co-stars attempted to justify Tambor’s on-set behaviour and describe harassment as common in Hollywood, co-star Alia Shawkat responded by saying: “But that doesn’t mean [verbal abuse is] acceptable. And the point is that things are changing, and people need to respect each other differently.”

Hale also apologized Thursday, tweeting that his words “served to minimize Jessica’s pain.”

Netflix scrapped plans for the Arrested Development cast to meet fans in London on Friday, saying it had decided “not to move ahead with promotional activity.”


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