Jay Duplass is speaking out on the future of Transparent after the departure of Jeffrey Tambor amid sexual misconduct allegations he denies, saying the changes have been challenging for the cast and crew, including show creator Jill Soloway.
“Jill’s been under so much pressure, not knowing whether Jeffrey’s going to be in the show or not, regime changes at Amazon, whether they need to end the show or re-open it, trying to do justice to the legacy of their family, and at the same time just emotionally processing the implosion of our family of the people who make Transparent,” Duplass revealed in a new interview with The Daily Beast. “So it’s been an incredibly traumatic time.” (Reps for Soloway, Tambor, and Amazon did not immediately respond to EW’s separate requests for comment.)
While Duplass admitted the “whole experience is painful and really hard to process,” he said that he has “huge confidence” in Soloway’s “ability to make timely art that enlightens us to what’s coming.”
And Duplass indicated Tambor’s departure doesn’t mean Transparent is done. “We all want it to continue,” he explained. “I think right now where Jill is at is just trying to figure out what that looks like. It’s interesting. To some people, it seems impossible without Maura. But I don’t know.”
Duplass suggested a future focus of the program could be his character Josh’s sister Ali (Gaby Hoffmann), who continued questioning her gender identity in season 4. “Her story — or their story now — is more emergent and was taking over that season as it was,” explained Duplass.
Transparent has been one of Amazon’s most successful original shows, racking up awards over the course of its first four seasons. But the show hit a snag when Tambor — who has won two Emmy Awards for his performance as the “trans parent,” Maura Pfefferman — was accused of sexual harassment by Transparent guest star Trace Lysette as well as a former assistant late last year just weeks after season 4 hit Amazon’s streaming service in September. Tambor has adamantly denied the allegations, but after an investigation, Amazon officially fired Tambor in February.
Prior to the firing, Amazon told EW in January that there would be a season 5 of Transparent. But Tambor expressed concern about the show’s potential fate in a statement addressing the allegations and his dismissal.
“As I have consistently stated, I deeply regret if any action of mine was ever misinterpreted by anyone and I will continue to vehemently defend myself,” Tambor said in a statement in February. “I also deeply regret that this ground-breaking show, which changed so many lives, is now in jeopardy. That, to me, is the biggest heartbreak.”
The Daily Beast piece also explores Duplass and his brother Mark Duplass’ Netflix deal and HBO anthology series, Room 104. Read it here.