Another Arrested Development actor has said that he regrets the way he behaved during the ensembles recent roundtable interview with The New York Times. Jason Bateman and Tony Hale both apologized Thursday for seeming to dismiss an incident in which Jeffrey Tambor verbally harassed Jessica Walter—and later that day, David Cross issued his own apology as well, in a lengthy interview with Gothamist.
“Ill say this,” the actor said. “Two people that I deeply respect, and I listen to and I love and appreciate, expressed to me after that interview their discomfort with it. One of those was Alia [Shawkat]”—the only Arrested cast member who stood up for Walters during the interview—“and the other was my wife.” Cross is married to Amber Tamblyn, a fellow actor and one of the founding members of the Times Up movement.
“I listened to them, and I cant and wouldnt ever dismiss their take on something. And they are also two people who are aware of the bigger picture. So, it means even more than it normally would, which is a lot. So I will unequivocally apologize to Jessica. Im sorry that we behaved the way we behaved. Whatever the criticisms are, I will own up,” Cross continued.
Cross made clear multiple times throughout the interview, which is well worth reading in full, that he believed speaking out about what happened in the Times would make the situation worse. And indeed, there are moments in his solo interview that might chafe some readers—particularly the moment when Cross seems to equivocate between Tambors behavior and a time when Jessica Walter apparently also yelled at a fellow actor on the set of Arrested Development. “Theres never an excuse ever for yelling at somebody and humiliating them in front of other people. And there was no excuse when Jessica did it,” Cross said.
Cross did note, however, that there was a marked difference between Walters on-set outburst and Tambors, which he called “egregious.”
“Im not going to defend what Jeffrey did at all, because I would never do that,” Cross said. “Ive never seen anybody do that to that level and thats just not right. Theres just no excuse for behaving like that.”
Cross also emphasized, however, that he and his castmates have more information regarding Tambor and his behavior than outsiders do. He said he does not regret defending Tambor when allegations of Tambors on-set behavior on Amazons Transparent broke—including accusations from two trans women who said that Tambor had sexually harassed them. (Tambor has vehemently and categorically denied any accusations of sexual misconduct on set.) Cross said, again, that he had more information about the incidents than most people, and that hed spoken not only with Tambor but also with Transparent creator Jill Soloway, before voicing his support for Tambor as a friend.
“Jeffreys not the only guy I know accused of shitty, bad hurtful behavior,” Cross said. “I dont condone it, but its not like, Hey Im never going to talk to you again and Im only gonna talk shit about you. If I had a family member who did something bad, Id go visit them in prison. . . . I dont have that Twitter mentality, where, Hey you did this thing, youre awful, youre a piece of shit.”
In general, Cross readily admitted that he has not entirely untangled the converging issues surrounding Tambor and the male Arrested Development cast members apparent eagerness to defend him, rather than validate Walters emotional reaction to his on-set tirade. The actor noted that during the Times interview, he felt the need to point out that Tambor had said in an earlier interview he had learned from his mistakes. “I know that makes me look bad, and thats really something that I need to hear why, because I dont know, and Im not like folding my arms and stamping my feet and turning away, I truly dont know why and I need to be educated,” Cross said. “And please, people do it without yelling at me. But tell me why that was the wrong thing and I will listen and learn from it. And again, two people I care deeply about, Alia and my wife, are people that Ive been talking to, and well figure this out.”
Throughout the interview, it seemed that Cross was certain of only two things. First, that he would be pilloried about this issue no matter what he said now; and second, this unimpeachable truth: “Being in a room with a New York Times reporter is perhaps the last place on the planet you should start going into psychotherapy with your cast.”
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