In a New York Times interview with the cast of Arrested Development, actor Jessica Walter, who plays matriarch Lucille Bluth, forgave her onscreen husband Jeffrey Tambor through tears for a major outburst he directed at her on set.
"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," Walter said.
Tambor himself has acknowledged that his behavior was unacceptable and said that he is taking steps to keep it from happening again.
However, at another point in the interview, Walter's onscreen son Jason Bateman offered a defense of Tambor that no one except Alia Shawkat, the only other female castmate present, pushed back against. He essentially said Tambor's explosive behavior isn't unheard of in Hollywood, and can be part of an actor's process.
Many people took issue with Bateman talking over Walter and "belittling" her experience...
Especially given that Walter has been working as an actor since Bateman was a baby.
Also notable, as writer Laura June points out, is that Bateman is someone who's corroborated a #MeToo story.
Many are now calling for a better project for Walter and Shawkat, where castmates don't defend workplace harassment.
Update: Jason Bateman has apologized in a series of tweets for trying to mansplain the situation and for not being more aware of how Tambor's behavior affected Walter.
He wrote on Twitter:
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. 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!
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.
I didn’t say that and instead said a bunch of other stuff and not very well. I deeply, and sincerely, apologize.