Arrested Development may truly be the funniest show in television history.
But there was nothing funny about Jason Bateman’s behavior during a recent interview with his co-stars.
Talking with the New York Times, the topic of Jeffrey Tambor’s on-set behavior was raised in a discussion that included Tambor himself, Bateman, Jessica Walter, Will Arnett and Alia Shawkat.
(Tambor quit the show Transparent amidst allegations of sexual misconduct and has admitted in the past to at least one tirade aimed at Walter during the filming of Arrested Development.)
“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.’ … And what you learn is context,” Batemn said, in an attempt to defend Tambor.
“You learn about character and you learn about work habits, work ethics, and you start to understand. Because it’s a very amorphous process, this sort of [expletive] that we do, you know, making up fake life.
“It’s a weird thing, and it is a breeding ground for atypical behavior and certain people have certain processes.”
This was already a tough start, with Bateman labeling Tambor’s inappropriate remarks to Walter as merely “atypical” and simply a part of the acting process.
But making matters so much worse?
Walter was right next to him!
And he was interrupting her while she was fighting back tears in relation to what transpired with Tambor, according to the Times.
“That doesn’t mean it’s acceptable,” Shawkat jumped and said. “And the point is that things are changing, and people need to respect each other differently.”
Maintaing her composure as best she could, Walter finally got a chance to speak:
“[In] 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,” she said, acknowledging that Tambor has apologized and she has chosen to let it go.
But Bateman wasn’t finished somehow.
He repeated his sentiment, saying:
“What we do for a living is not normal, and therefore the process is not normal sometimes, and to expect it to be normal is to not understand what happens on set.
“Again, not to excuse it, but to be surprised by people having a wobbly route to their goal, their process – it’s very rarely predictable.”
As you might expect, Bateman has been SLAMMED for these comments; for not just trying to mansplain away Tambor’s behavior…but to do it in front of his victim.
Faced with this very deserved backlash, Bateman issued a mea culpa this morning that reads as follows:
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’m incredibly embarrassed and deeply sorry to have done that to Jessica,” Bateman continued via Twitter. “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.
This is, thankfully, a very good and thorough apology.
But come on, men!
This really isn’t very hard.
We need to do better.