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It's been a harrowing few weeks in the world of entertainment. After Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein was accused of sexual misconduct and promptly fired from both his company and the film Academy, the floodgates really opened. Since then, a gaggle of powerful Hollywood men have been accused of sexual assault and/or harassment, resulting in the halt of production in a variety of projects, as well as internal investigations into the accusations. Actor Jeffrey Tambor is one of the accused, as his former assistant alleges that he was sexually inappropriate while working on the Amazon series Transparent. And now one of the show's cast members has also spoken out again Tambor, transgender actress Trace Lysette.
My back was against the wall in a corner as Jeffrey approached me. He came in close, put his bare feet on top of mine so I could not move, leaned his body against me, and began quick, discreet thrusts back and forth against my body. I felt his penis on my hip through his thin pajamas and I pushed him off of me.
What sobering account. Following the original allegations, this is the second alleged incident where Jeffrey Tambor was sexually aggressive towards a transgender woman, while also playing the trans matriarch Maura on Transparent.
Trace Lysette has been a recurring cast member of Transparent since back in its first season. She plays the character Shea, who is one of Maura's (Jeffrey Tambor) trans friends who help her navigate the various issues she faces interpersonally and physically. Shea's role was expanded in later episodes, and she had a romantic plot line with Maura's cisgender and heterosexual son Josh.
Like the original accusation made against him by former assistant Van Barnes, Jeffrey Tambor has denied any wrongdoing by his part, apart from his attitude on set. He made a statement in response to Trace Lysette's claims, saying:
For the past four years, I've had the huge privilege --- and huge responsibility --- of playing Maura Pfefferman, a transgender woman, in a show that I know has had an enormous, positive impact on a community that has been too long dismissed and misunderstood. Now I find myself accused of behavior that any civilized person would condemn unreservedly. I know I haven't always been the easiest person to work with. I can be volatile and ill-tempered, and too often I express my opinions harshly and without tact. But I have never been a predator -- ever.
These allegations are especially troubling because both of the accusers are transgender women. Transparent has been praised for its ability to tell authentic stories with trans characters, while also educating viewers about issues the community faces. So these allegations carry even more emotional weight, leaving the future of Transparent in question. Reports indicate that the series may be exploring ways to continue on without Jeffrey Tambor's Maura, an idea that Trace Lysette echoes in her statement.
Transparent's first four season are currently streaming on Amazon. Be sure to check out our cancellation list to see if your favorite show got the chop.