Jessica WalterLatest News and Opinion
Posted Tuesday 6/19/18 at 1:32PM EDT
David Cross reflects on the Arrested Development cast's disastrous New York Times: “Hopefully I won’t do that again"
It's been nearly a month since cast's Times interview, and Cross has a fresh perspective now that he's actually read the interview. “I definitely have a different feeling about it now, having read it and remembering it, than I did in the moment,” Cross said on SiriusXM's Jim & Sam Show, according to IndieWire. “In the moment, it didn’t seem so egregious. I definitely get the criticism, I truly do.” He added: "One of the lessons I’ve learned is, nobody gives a sh*t about your context. Nobody. If there’s a crying woman in the room — or whoever, if there’s somebody crying — nobody cares about your ‘well, buts.'”
Posted Wednesday 6/13/18 at 3:30AM EDT
Arrested Development's quiet return shows how much the TV landscape has changed in five years
The controversy over Jeffrey Tambor's behavior may have played a role in the lack of buzz for Season 5 of the Netflix series. But the revival-heavy TV landscape that Arrested Development helped usher in five years ago may have also played a role in its muted return, says Keith Phipps. "Now, Arrested Development has returned to the TV world that its fourth season helped create, but it doesn’t seem to be creating much of a stir in that world," he says. The cast's disastrous New York Times interview, says Phipps, "undoubtedly helped squelch enthusiasm for the show’s return and cooled goodwill toward the cast members who defended him. But even without it, the premiere of new Arrested Development episodes in 2018 isn’t the event it was in 2013, for reasons beyond the show itself. Given the splintering of the TV landscape, the sheer number of familiar properties being adapted or rebooted, and the intense marketing that goes into turning streaming-service fare into appointment viewing, the premiere of virtually any TV show in 2018 can’t be the event it was in 2013. Even the shows that can unite a fractured viewership are either scheduled to end soon (Game of Thrones) or engaged in a seemingly irreversible decline (The Walking Dead). There’s more great TV than ever right now, but the medium is moving at warp speed. There’s more to watch than ever before, and more that’s worth watching, but unless a given show makes a splash on social media or earns a vocal fandom willing to stump for it, it’s hard to see the impact of any new arrival."
Posted Thursday 6/07/18 at 2:05PM EDT
Alia Shawkat on Arrested Development cast's "intense" New York Times interview: "I felt like I didn’t say enough to defend" Jessica Walter
When Walter started crying during the controversial Times interview, "I realized we were having a public and private conversation at the same time, which is very unnatural," Shawkat said in an interview with Broadly. "All of a sudden, we’re having this intense moment as a group of people who’ve known each other for 15 years—and it’s being recorded. They were almost trying to cover themselves up while simultaneously talking, instead of actually listening to each other—which is the biggest theme that I learned from this whole experience, this 20-minute interview that made so much noise. The minute Jessica started crying, my instinct was just to go up to her and hug her and be like, ‘This interview’s over.’” After the interview, Shawkat said she also cried: "I felt like I didn’t say enough to defend her," said Shawkat. "I felt like I didn’t say enough to explain that the movement is so important—and that Jeffrey (Tambor)'s story is a piece of this movement, and we can’t silence it. Women’s voices need to be heard, and, ironically enough—I wasn’t able to be heard. I was really scared that the interviewer didn’t even hear me.”
Posted Wednesday 6/06/18 at 1:56PM EDT
Arrested Development creator: I didn't realize the on-set incident between Jeffrey Tambor and Jessica Walter was "momentous"
"I’m guilty of not realizing how deeply upsetting that was for Jessica,” Mitch Hurwitz admitted in an interview with Deadline. “I heard about it and saw parts of it in the dailies, although the part I saw didn’t seem that—I don’t know—momentous. But fights and outbursts always start with things that are smaller.” Hurwitz adds that the fight started over "something minor like he was doing a speech and Jessica wanted to redo something in her speech. She’s a perfectionist, which I have a horrible case of myself, and he’s sort of loose with it, finds his way back if he gets off course within the speech, for instance… And she was resetting and he got upset and was like, ‘Oh, come on! You always do this!’ He continued for a bit and she apologized. ‘I’m sorry, Jeffrey, I’m sorry.’ But he continued and then walked off—the set apparently, but he walked out of frame.”
Posted Friday 5/25/18 at 7:45PM EDT
Jason Bateman's use of "family" shows how to the word is used to paper over serious problems
"A television set is not a family," Anne Helen Petersen says of The New York Times sitdown with the Arrested Development cast that stirred controversy this week, particularly over Bateman excusing co-star Jessica Walter's experience with verbal abuse from Jeffrey Tambor. “This is a family and families, you know, have love, laughter, arguments — again, not to belittle it, but a lot of stuff happens in 15 years," Bateman said. As Petersen explains, the word "family" may sound innocuous, but it could have a darker meaning. "In cases like these, invoking 'the family' of the workplace becomes a means of blunting anger, of sublimating resistance," she says. "If you push back, it suggests, you’re not harming a company that benefits from your labor. You’re harming your family. The guilt — the natural responsibility we feel toward family members — is generally sufficient to keep workers in line and resigned to their new fate, whether it means the loss of wages or pension, an increase in hours, or the removal of mechanisms like tenure meant to ensure job stability. Speaking up for yourself? Hurting the family. To call a workplace a family is to elevate the loyalty one should feel to the idea of the company and its members and simultaneously excuse, or flatten, any bad behavior or damage inflicted within its confines."
Posted Friday 5/25/18 at 7:45PM EDT
Suits cast sang "Chapel of Love" on the way to Meghan Markle's wedding
Creator Aaron Korsh rallied his cast members into a laughable rendition of the 1964 hit song from The Dixie Cups while on the shuttle bus to the Prince Harry-Meghan Markle wedding. ALSO: Jessica Walter had no idea Markle's oral sex scene was cut out of The CW's 90210 pilot.
Posted Thursday 5/24/18 at 7:14PM EDT
David Cross apologizes to Jessica Walter, brings up her yelling at somebody on set while also offering details on Jeffrey Tambor's outburst
In a lengthy interview today with Gothamist, Cross recalled how his wife, actress Amber Tamblyn, urged him to avoid Twitter last night following the furor yesterday over The New York Times sitdown with the Arrested Development cast. "I will unequivocally apologize to Jessica," he said of his behavior during the interview. "I'm sorry that we behaved the way we behaved. Whatever the criticisms are, I will own up." But Cross also brought up that Walter had her own outburst on set, one that wasn't as bad as Tambor's outburst. "But to Jessica's credit, she felt bad, she apologized," he said. "Portia (di Rossi) wasn't around, so there was a stand-in for her for months and months and months, and there was this incident, but it didn't have the same kind of feeling that Jeffrey's did. Jeffrey's took a lot of the focus. And again, I don't condone that behavior when anybody does it. And that's with crewmembers as well. There's just no excuse." He also offered some detail of Tambor's outburst: "It was shocking, uncomfortable," he said. "Nobody felt good about it. Nobody was gleeful about it. And it's really unfortunate that it did happen. Outside of the extreme nature of the yelling and dressing down in front of the rest of the cast and crew, I think everyone else as well understood the frustration." Cross added that Tambor "made a big mea culpa to the cast and the crew, but the damage was done. Again, that didn't come out of nowhere, he's not American Psycho or whatever. I think Jason (Bateman) pointed this out, but we didn't know about the Transparent stuff, I hadn't seen that behavior ever from him in 15 years. I have now. And that goes into the pile of what I know about Jeffrey. But up until that point I'd never seen that." Finally, Cross was asked if this controversy will affect how Season 5 is received. "Oh yes, without a doubt. At least initially," he said. ALSO: Netflix cancels Arrested Development cast's British press tour amid Tambor backlash.
Posted Thursday 5/24/18 at 2:03PM EDT
Has Jeffrey Tambor's abusive behavior tainted his work?
In an essay on "The Cultural Vandalism of Jeffrey Tambor," Matt Zoller Seitz writes that now that his abusive behavior on Transparent and Arrested Development have come out, Tambor has "lost the power of illusion — the illusions he created with such painstaking care — and all you can see now are allegations that seem a lot more convincing than his vague apologies and promises to do better." Seitz writes that Tambor's "performance as Hank Kingsley, the sidekick on The Larry Sanders Show, was one of the great portraits of showbiz narcissism, but I can’t imagine revisiting it with the same eyes now, especially during the season where Hank’s assistant, played by Scott Thompson, sues his boss for making homophobic jokes and contributing to a culture of harassment. I can’t lose myself in the fiction anymore because I don’t see the character he’s playing — not exclusively. I see the character for a few seconds or minutes at a time, and then the façade drops and I see the accused sexual harasser and verbal abuser who was fired from his award-winning lead role on Transparent, and who, according to (Jessica) Walter, verbally abused her on the set of Arrested Development. This sort of thing seems categorically different from, say, watching a film starring an actor whose political beliefs are different from yours (though there, too, a line could be irrevocably crossed). Once you believe that a particular actor or filmmaker or screenwriter is a predator or abuser, you’re aware that the environment that produced your entertainment — the film set — was engaged in a conscious or reflexive cover-up, in the name of protecting an investment."
- Jason Bateman showed how Hollywood has justified bad behavior for generations: "Bateman defaulted to every entrenched cultural script of minimizing fault," says David Sims, "downplaying misbehavior, and largely attributing Tambor’s verbal harassment to the unique, circumstantial pressures of acting—a process, he suggested, most onlookers could not hope to understand."
- The interview resonated because "the disrespect felt so benign in the delivery and so destructive in the effect": "How can you have 'zero complaints' about a workplace someone else remembers as containing the worst verbal abuse of her career?" says Linda Holmes. "Is that not, itself, a complaint? Why is it important that over and above forgiveness, Tambor receives absolution from the utterly unaffected men in the cast, right in front of the woman who initially told the Hollywood Reporter she didn't even want to talk about her history with him in the first place? Tambor brought all this up, put all of it out in public, just so everyone else could explain why it didn't matter? Is this reverse roast, this closing argument by a self-appointed defense attorney — is this supposed to be his reckoning?"
- Tony Hale joins Bateman in apologizing to Jessica Walter for his behavior in New York Times interview
- Bateman's apology was "actually good" and "oddly refreshing" -- a stark contrast to Louis CK's apology
- Life in Pieces star Thomas Sadowski slams Arrested men for what they did to Walter: "What in the halfpenny f*ck is happening?!"
- New York Times reporter Sopan Deb: "When I asked about Jeffrey Tambor, obviously the room's tone changed quite a bit"
Posted Thursday 5/24/18 at 4:10AM EDT
Arrested Development men accused of gaslighting Jessica Walter to defend Jeffrey Tambor
The New York Times sitdown with the Netflix cast was notable for the great lengths the men went to defend Tambor after Walter called him out for once verbally abusing her on set. "Jessica Walter actually cries in this interview about how terrible Jeffrey Tambor was to her and her male co-stars go to extraordinary lengths to comfort and defend...Tambor. FFS," tweeted New York Magazine writer Marin Cogan. Much of the online ire was for Jason Bateman, who offered a defense of Tambor's behavior that no one pushed back against, except for Alia Shawkat, the only other female cast member in attendance. "This is a family and families, you know, have love, laughter, arguments — again, not to belittle it, but a lot of stuff happens in 15 years," Bateman said. To which Vulture writer Kathryn VanArendonk tweeted:"'Families get messy' is the most emotionally manipulative, undermining rhetorical move. For one, that sh*t would still be gutting and difficult and confidence-shaking if they were a family! But more importantly: they are NOT. 'We're a family' is an attempt to excuse Tambor and Bateman, but it's also a gesture that excuses (creator Mitch) Hurwitz and Netflix from taking any action to remedy the situation. Corporations are not your family."
UPDATE: Jason Bateman apologizes in a series of tweets: "Based on listening to the NYT interview and hearing people’s thoughts online, I realize that I was wrong. 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...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...I didn’t say that and instead said a bunch of other stuff and not very well. I deeply, and sincerely, apologize.”
Posted Wednesday 5/23/18 at 7:10PM EDT
A teary Jessica Walter discusses Jeffrey Tambor's verbal harassment on Arrested Development set
Tambor admitted earlier this month that he'd had a "blowup" with Walters for which he later "profusely apologized." Today, in a New York Times sitdown with the Netflix series cast, including Tambor, Walter addressed Tambor's verbal abuse. "Let me just say one thing that I just realized in this conversation," she said. "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." She then turned to Tambor and said, "And I have to give you a chance to, you know, for us to be friends again." For which Tambor responded: "Absolutely." Walter added: "But it’s hard because honestly — Jason (Bateman) 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. 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." Meanwhile, Jason Bateman has been slammed on Twitter for saying in the interview that Walter's experience wasn't that unusual, that there was a lot of yelling on set. "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. ALSO: Jason Bateman tells Tambor he won't do another Arrested season without him.
Posted Thursday 5/17/18 at 10:42PM EDT
Dermot Mulroney to form a "special bond" with Lucille Bluth on Arrested Development
Creator Mitch Hurwiz says Mulroney will play a "guileless" lawyer-turned-surfer named Dusty. “He has a relationship of sorts with Lucille,” he says.
Posted Monday 5/07/18 at 8:06PM EDT
Arrested Development Season 4 remix sparks cast pay dispute
Creator Mitch Hurwitz is making extra money from the 22-episode, 22-minute recut Season 4 episodes, dubbed Arrested Development Season 4 Remix: Fateful Consequences, which is aimed at making that season more syndication-friendly. But the rest of the cast isn't, according to The Hollywood Reporter, which points out that the remix uses footage that wasn't part of the original 15 episodes. According to The Hollywood Reporter's Lesley Goldberg, "Reps for the cast have asked for additional fees to correspond with the additional episodes but 20th has balked, arguing that it has the right to re-edit the existing episodes that have already aired however it chooses without paying the actors more. The cast position is that the additional episode count effectively reduces the pay-per-episode that was negotiated, especially since the studio stands poised for a financial windfall thanks to a possible syndication pact. "
Posted Monday 5/07/18 at 12:30PM EDT
Transparent to end with Season 5; Jeffrey Tambor denies sexual harassment but admits to being mean
Transparent creator Jill Soloway announced that her Amazon series will end with a Tambor-less Season 5 in a Hollywood Reporter article that delves into the actor's ouster. “Hopefully it sets the Pfeffermans up with some sort of beautiful reclaiming,” she said. “I think we’re going to get there with some time.” In The Hollywood Reporter article, Tambor opened up for the first time about how he was fired by text by Soloway. But Tambor says he felt blindsided by his firing because he was expecting a "slap on the wrist." He admitted to having issues with anger management. He once had a "blowup" with Jessica Walter on the Arrested Development set. “I drove myself and my castmates crazy,” he said. “Lines got blurred. I was difficult. I was mean. I yelled at Jill (Soloway) — she told me recently she was afraid of me. I yelled at the wonderful (executive producer) Bridget Bedard in front of everybody. I made her cry. And I apologized and everything, but still, I yelled at her. The assistant directors. I was rude to my assistant. I was moody. Sometimes I didn’t talk at all.” But he denies the allegations from his two accusers, Van Barnes, his former assistant, and Trace Lysette, an actress on Transparent. “What I said was that she was a disgruntled assistant," he says of Barnes. "I think that was generous of me. I dispute her account. I did raise my voice at times, I was moody at times, there were times when I was tactless. But as for the other stuff, absolutely not.”
Posted Tuesday 9/05/17 at 11:33PM EDT
Buster and Lucille are reunited in the first pic from the Arrested Development Season 5 set
“Mother and me,” Tony Hale tweeted with a photo of him and Jessica Walter.