People Are Mad That Jason Bateman Tried To Normalize Jessica Walter's "Arrested Development" Harassment Story

"This interview is a trainwreck." Update: Bateman has apologized on Twitter.

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.

Also striking: Jason Bateman, several times, said Tambor's behavior on set was normal in show business. Jessica Walter interjected: "You’ve never yelled at me like that." Again, with Tambor sitting right there.

this interview is wild--all the men in the room are making excuses for jeffrey tambor (who calls his own behavior "unconscionable"!!!) and once again it's left to the women (poor alia shawkat & jessica walter) to plead for their humanity

Via Twitter: @importantmeagan

Many people took issue with Bateman talking over Walter and "belittling" her experience...

1) This interview is a trainwreck. Jason Bateman says, "not to belittle" over and over again while actively belittling Jessica Walters. 2) Jessica Walter is one badass lady.

Via Twitter: @AynRandPaulRyan

Here’s audio of Jessica Walter CRYING, standing up for herself after all the men in the AD cast try to gaslight her into thinking Tambor’s harassment isn’t THAT bad. This is horrific.

Via Twitter: @KevinTPorter

"We're a family" is an attempt to excuse Tambor and Bateman, but it's also a gesture that excuses Hurwitz and Netflix from taking any action to remedy the situation. Corporations are not your family.

Especially given that Walter has been working as an actor since Bateman was a baby.

one small but very striking thing from that nyt arrested development interview: jason bateman essentially explaining "how the industry works" to jessica walter, as if she isn't an accomplished veteran of the same industry.

Via Twitter: @soalexgoes

Jessica Walter received a Golden Globe nomination in 1971, when Jason Bateman was two years old, and he thinks he should explain to her how show business works.

Via Twitter: @dreamoforgonon

Jessica Walter made her screen debut before most of the other Arrested Development cast members were born, yet here they are talking over her to explain set dynamics.

Via Twitter: @louisvirtel

Also notable, as writer Laura June points out, is that Bateman is someone who's corroborated a #MeToo story.

What’s crazy about Jason Bateman’s words is that his own wife was assaulted by Andre Balazs and he had to release a statement defending her account so people would believe her.

Amanda Anka, Bateman's wife, alleged that hotelier Andre Balazs sexually assaulted her. Bateman put out a statement corroborating Anka's story.

Many are now calling for a better project for Walter and Shawkat, where castmates don't defend workplace harassment.

First person to write a TV show for Jessica Walter and Alia Shawkat only wins.

Via Twitter: @joereid
Via Twitter: @KenJennings

i will watch "arrested development" ONLY if it stars alia shawkat and jessica walters and none of the dudes

Via Twitter: @mollypriddy

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.

Skip to footer