Jason Bateman 'embarrassed' for defending Jeffrey Tambor

By Wade Sheridan
Jason Bateman (L) and his wife Amanda Anka. Bateman has apologized on Twitter for defending Jeffrey Tambor regarding an incident with Jessica Walter. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI
Jason Bateman (L) and his wife Amanda Anka. Bateman has apologized on Twitter for defending Jeffrey Tambor regarding an incident with Jessica Walter. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

May 24 (UPI) -- Jason Bateman and Tony Hale apologized on Twitter Thursday for defending Jeffrey Tambor regarding an incident he had with Jessica Walter during the filming of Arrested Development Season 5.

Bateman, Hale, Tambor, Walter and other members of the Arrested Development cast including Will Arnett, David Cross and Alia Shawkat, recently took part in a group interview with The New York Times where it was mentioned that Tambor had verbally harassed Walter on set.


"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,"' Bateman said during the interview. "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 then responded tearfully to what happened between her and Tambor and referenced that the actor was let go from Amazon's Transparent amid sexual harassment allegations.

"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, you know, sexual whatever. Verbally, yes, he harassed me, but he did apologize. I have to let it go. And I have to give you a chance to, you know, for us to be friends again," Walter said.

Hale, after Walter said had never experienced being yelled at like that in her career, backed up Bateman's comments. "But I will say, to Jason's point, we can be honest about the fact that -- and not to build a thing -- we've all had moments.

"But not like that, not like that. That was bad," Walter said to which Hale replied, "Not like that. But I'm saying we've worked together 15 years, there has been other points of anger coming out."

Bateman then continued to defend Tambor in the interview, with fans online criticizing the 49-year-old for his comments and for appearing to discount what Walter was saying. Walter later mentioned in the interview that she is still willing to work alongside Tambor.


"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. In fact, I'm horrified that I wasn't more aware of how this incident affected her," Bateman said as part of his apology.

"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," he continued.

"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. Period," he said.

"I didn't say that and instead said a bunch of other stuff and not very well. I deeply, and sincerely, apologize," Bateman concluded.


Hale's Twitter apology came hours following Bateman's.

"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," Hale said.

Arrested Development returns to Netflix with new episodes on May 29.

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