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Jason Bateman Responds to Backlash Over Jeffrey Tambor Comments: ‘I’m Incredibly Embarrassed’

Jason Bateman is changing his tune. The actor has responded to the backlash he received on Wednesday, May 23, after defending his Arrested Development costar Jeffrey Tambor for his alleged behavior on the set of the comedy.

Jason Bateman Jeffrey Tambor Backlash
Jason Bateman and Jeffrey Tambor at “A Conversation with Jason Bateman” during the 2014 SXSW Music, Film + Interactive Festival at Austin Convention Center on March 8, 2014 in Austin, Texas. Mindy Best/Getty Images

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“Based on listening to the NYT interview and hearing people’s thoughts online, I realize that I was wrong here. 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,” Bateman, 49, tweeted on Thursday. “In fact, I’m horrified that I wasn’t more aware of how this incident affected her. 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!”

Just hours earlier, the New York Times released an interview the publication conducted with the Ozark star and his Arrested Development costars — including Jessica Walter. Walter, who has claimed in the past that Tambor, 73, verbally harassed her on set, was reportedly visibly upset when Bateman seemingly minimized Tambor’s alleged behavior.

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“I’m incredibly embarrassed and deeply sorry to have done that to Jessica,” Bateman continued via Twitter. “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. Period. I didn’t say that and instead said a bunch of other stuff and not very well. I deeply, and sincerely, apologize.”

In the NYT piece, Tambor said he had “profusely apologized” to Walter for his actions before Bateman interjected with the remark that left many criticizing him. “Again, 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,’” he said at the time. “Because it’s a very amorphous process, this sort of [expletive] that we do, you know, making up fake life. It’s a weird thing, and it is a breeding ground for atypical behavior and certain people have certain processes.”

Walter chimed in: “Let me just say one thing that I just realized in this conversation. I have to let go of being angry at him. He never crossed the line on our show, with any … sexual whatever. Verbally, yes, he harassed me, but he did apologize. I have to let it go.”

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Tambor was previously fired from his Amazon series Transparent after being accused of misconduct by both Transparent guest star Trace Lysette and a former assistant. “I am profoundly disappointed in Amazon’s handling of these false accusations against me,” the Emmy winner said in a statement to Entertainment Weekly on February 15. “I am even more disappointed in [series creator] Jill Soloway’s unfair characterization of me as someone who would ever cause harm to any of my fellow castmates. In our four-year history of working together on this incredible show, these accusations have NEVER been revealed or discussed directly with me or anyone at Amazon. Therefore, I can only surmise that the investigation against me was deeply flawed and biased toward the toxic politicized atmosphere that afflicted our set.”

Despite the Transparent scandal, it was announced earlier this month that he would be returning to Arrested Development on Netflix.


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