Bateman apologizes after he and other male co-stars defended Tambor's bad behavior during an interview in which Walter was reduced to tears while recalling the traumatic experience.
After coming under tremendous fire via social media for comments made during a New York Times roundtable discussion with the cast of "Arrested Development," Jason Bateman has apologized for defending Jeffrey Tambor over a harassment incident with Jessica Walter during the show's original run on Fox.
During the tense and awkward discussion, for which both Tambor and Walter were present, Bateman joined with the other male cast-members in trying to brush off the severity of the experience, while minimizing Walter's tear-filled account of the event.
"In like almost 60 years of working, I've never had anybody yell at me like that on set," Walter said at one point during the discussion, trying to emphasize that this behavior is not normal. Only Alia Shawkat came to her defense.
"Not to belittle it or excuse it or anything, but in the entertainment industry it is incredibly common to have people who are, in quotes, 'difficult,'" said Bateman. "It’s a weird thing, and it is a breeding ground for atypical behavior and certain people have certain processes."
"But that does't mean it's acceptable," Shawkat shot back. "And the point is that things are changing, and people need to respect each other differently."
After listening back to his own comments during the interview, and seeing the outcry on social media, Bateman took to Twitter to apologize for his role in minimizing Walter's experience and normalizing Tambor's outburst.
Based on listening to the NYT interview and hearing people’s thoughts online, I realize that I was wrong here.— Jason Bateman (@batemanjason) May 24, 2018
I sound like I’m condoning yelling at work. I do not.
It sounds like I’m excusing Jeffery. I do not.
It sounds like I’m insensitive to Jessica. I am not.
In fact, I’m-
- horrified that I wasn’t more aware of how this incident affected her.— Jason Bateman (@batemanjason) May 24, 2018
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!— Jason Bateman (@batemanjason) May 24, 2018
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 okay.
I should’ve focused more on what the most important...
...part of it all is - there’s never any excuse for abuse, in any form, from any gender. And, the victim’s voice needs to be heard and respected.— Jason Bateman (@batemanjason) May 24, 2018
I didn’t say that and instead said a bunch of other stuff and not very well.
I deeply, and sincerely, apologize.
Tony Hale also posted a public apology on Thursday morning for his role in dismissing Walter's traumatic experience, and revealed that he had reached out personally to her to express his regrets. Will Arnett, David Cross and Alia Shawkat have not responded yet to these latest developments.
I have reached out to Jessica personally to apologize. Arrested Development is one of my families. Regardless of my intentions, it is clear that my words, both said and unsaid, served to minimize Jessica’s pain and for that I am extremely sorry.— Tony Hale (@MrTonyHale) May 24, 2018
"Life in Pieces" star Thomas Sadoski was one of the most passionate supporters of Walter after the Times interview went public Wednesday afternoon. He posted a picture of himself smiling with Walter and captioned it with a scathing condemnation of both Tambor's behavior and his co-stars' defense of it.
"It certainly isn’t acceptable for some man-baby millionaire to do on a cozy ass tv show set," Sadoski wrote of Tambor's outburst. "And it is even less acceptable for his male cast-mates to excuse it away IN FRONT OF THE PERSON THAT IT HAPPENED TO....(wait for it)....WHILE SHE IS TRYING TO EXPLAIN HOW TRAUMATIZING THE EXPERIENCE WAS!"
This is Jessica Walter. She is a national goddamned treasure. It was an honor and a privilege to work with her. I don’t give a fuck who you think you are or how good you think you are or how awesome you think your buddy/daddy is: screaming at someone isn’t “part of the business”. It’s bullshit. It’s unhinged bullshit behavior and it has NEVER been acceptable. It wasn’t cool in the 70’s or 80’s or whenthefuckever you “came up”. It was bullshit then, it is bullshit now. And excusing that kind of behavior is pathetic. Just pathetic. I worked in shitty greasy-spoon kitchens growing up: it wasn’t acceptable behavior THERE and most of us were on HEAVY DRUGS. It certainly isn’t acceptable for some man-baby millionaire to do on a cozy ass tv show set. And it is even less acceptable for his male cast-mates to excuse it away IN FRONT OF THE PERSON THAT IT HAPPENED TO....(wait for it)....WHILE SHE IS TRYING TO EXPLAIN HOW TRAUMATIZING THE EXPERIENCE WAS. What in the halfpenny fuck is happening?!
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter earlier this month, Tambor admitted to his abhorrent behavior -- though he still denies allegations of sexual misconduct -- on both "AD" and "Transparent," from which he was fired.
"I profusely have apologized," Tambor said. "Ms. Walter is indeed a walking acting lesson. And on 'Transparent,' you know, I had a temper and I yelled at people and I hurt people's feelings. And that's unconscionable, and I'm working on it and I'm going to put that behind me, and I love acting."
Cross jumped to his co-star's defense, adding that "he's listening and learning and growing. That's important to remember."
"This is a family and families, you know, have love, laughter arguments —- again, not to belittle it, but a lot of stuff happens in 15 years," Bateman continued. "I can say that no matter what anybody in this room has ever done -— and we’ve all done a lot, with each other, for each other, against each other -— I wouldn’t trade it for the world and I have zero complaints.
"Let me just say one thing that I just realized in this conversation," Walters responded. "I have to let go of being angry at him. He never crossed the line on our show, with any, you know, sexual whatever. Verbally, yes, he harassed me, but he did apologize. I have to let it go." She then turned to Tambor and added, "I have to give you a chance to, you know, for us to be friends again."
Hale again tried to defend Tambor, saying, "To Jason's point, we can be honest about the fact that -- and not to build a thing -- we've all had moments." To this, Walter shot back, "But not like that, not like that. That was bad."
Ultimately, Walter said it was "really freeing" to give up her anger over the incident. "I don't want to walk around with anger. I respect him as an actor. We've known each other for years and years and years," she said. "I would work with him again in a heartbeat."