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Arrested Development's Jessica Walter cries mid-interview recalling Jeffrey Tambor 'verbal harassment' incident

Lucille Bluth star forced to clarify experience several times

Jacob Stolworthy
Thursday 24 May 2018 08:10 BST
Arrested Development: Season Five- trailer

Update: Jason Bateman has since issued an apology for failing to reassure Jessica Walter during the interview as well as for calling the industry 'a breeding ground' for Tambor's alleged behaviour. Tony Hale has also spoken out on the interview claiming he reached out to Walter to personally apology.

An interview with the cast of Arrested Development has sparked controversy after Jessica Walter's male co-stars jumped to the defence of Jeffrey Tambor as she recounted, in tears, being verbally harassed by him on set.

The actor, who plays Bluth matriarch Lucille in the sitcom, was sat with Tambor and fellow stars Jason Bateman, Tony Hale, David Cross, Will Arnett and Alia Shawkat for an interview with The New York Times when the subject of the allegations against Tambor - which saw him fired from Amazon series Transparent - came up in conversation.

Walter began crying when discussing a “blowup” that Tambor had with her on the set of Arrested Development, something he admitted to in a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter. In a recording, Walter can be heard emotionally refuting Bateman's suggestion that Tambor's behaviour is “common” in the entertainment industry as she continually attempts to clarify the effect the incident had on her.

“Jason says this happens all the time,” she can be heard saying. “In like almost 60 years of working, I’ve never had anybody yell at me like that on set.”

Walter adds: “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 apologise. I have to let it go. [turning to Tambor] And I have to give you a chance to, you know, for us to be friends again.”

Throughout the exchange, none of Walter's male co-stars even try to jump to her defence. Instead, it's Alia Shawkat who can be heard snapping back at Bateman: “But that doesn’t mean it’s acceptable. And the point is that things are changing, and people need to respect each other differently.”

It's here where one of her male co-stars - Hale - seems to brush over this, saying: “We've all had moments.”

“Not like that,“ Walter is forced to clarify. ”That was bad.”

Bateman and Cross then launch into a defensive parlay about how acting "is not normal." The former calls it "a little narrow to single that one particular thing that is getting attention from our show," forcing Walter to exclaim, "Only because you brought it up, Jeffrey, in that article! I never would have brought it up."

Walter has since cancelled her interviews running in conjunction with Arrested Development which returns to Netflix on 28 May

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