Following a muted response to Arrested Development's fifth season and a controversial New York Times interview in which Jessica Walter said she was verbally harassed by Jeffrey Tambor, the future of the series is now in limbo.
“I actually don’t know if [season 6] is a possibility or not,” Cindy Holland, Netflix's Vice President of Original Content, told TVLine at the Television Critics Association summer press tour Sunday. "We haven't discussed it at all."
The fifth season of Arrested Development was met with a far different reaction than the fourth one, since it was released after Walter confirmed she was verbally harassed by Tambor during filming. The Times interview with the cast, in which Jason Bateman, Tony Hale and David Cross defended Tambor, overshadowed the new episodes. The actors issued apologies, and Netflix stopped promoting the show.
"I have to let go of being angry at him," Walter told the Times, with Tambor in the room. "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."
Earlier in the interview, Bateman suggested heated arguments happen often in the entertainment industry. But Walter, who has been making movies and TV shows for more than six decades, said that was not her experience.
"It’s hard because honestly — Jason says this happens all the time. In like almost 60 years of working, I’ve never had anybody yell at me like that on a set," Walter said. "And it’s hard to deal with, but I’m over it now. I just let it go right here, for The New York Times."
Bateman, Cross and Hale all apologized to Walter and issued statements on Twitter. In Bateman's statement, the actor said he was not insensitive to Walter or excusing Tambor.
"I’m incredibly embarrassed and deeply sorry to have done that to Jessica. This is a big learning moment for me," Bateman wrote. "I shouldn’t have tried so hard to mansplain, or fix a fight, or make everything okay."
"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 wrote.
Tambor was also fired from Amazon's Transparent for alleged sexual harassment. That series is continuing for one more season without him.0comments
Netflix first saved Arrested Development in 2013, reviving the show after more than six years off the air. On May 29, the streamer released the first eight episodes of season 5, which were met with a mixed critical response. Netflix has yet to announce when the next eight episodes will be released.
Photo credit: Netflix