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Jason Bateman Apologizes After Seemingly Defending Jeffrey Tambor Following Verbal Harassment Allegation

ETOnline logo ETOnline 24/05/2018 Leena Tailor‍

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Video provided by The Hollywood Reporter

Jason Bateman says he’s “embarrassed” and “deeply sorry” after comments he made seemed to defend actor Jeffrey Tambor with regard to an allegation of verbal harassment from their Arrested Development costar, Jessica Walter.

Bateman received backlash after he described Tambor’s alleged behaviour as “common,” during an interview with The New York Times.

“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 told the outlet during a group interview, which saw Walter, 77, forgive Tambor, 73, for the incident in front of their co-stars.

Jason Bateman looking at the camera © Roy Rochlin/Getty Images After listening to the interview and reading online reactions, Bateman took to Twitter for a series of posts on Thursday.

“Based on listening to the NYT interview and hearing people’s thoughts online, I realize that I was wrong here,” he wrote. “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,” he continued. “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!”

Bateman added that he was “incredibly embarrassed” and “deeply sorry” to have reacted how he did.

“This is a big learning moment for me,” he said. “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.”

Within hours of Bateman's tweets, co-star Tony Hale also apologised after he too appeared to excuse Tambor's behaviour during the interview, in which he said, "We’ve all had moments … we’ve worked together 15 years, there has been other points of anger coming out."

"I have reached out to Jessica personally to apologize," he tweeted on Thursday. "Arrested Development is one of my families. Regardless of my intentions, it is clear that my words, both said and unsaid, served to minimize Jessica’s pain and for that I am extremely sorry."

During the NYT interview, Walter got emotional while addressing Tambor and her anger towards him over the years.

“I have to let go of being angry at him,” she said. “[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. I have to let go of being angry at him. He never crossed the line on our show, with any sexual whatever. Verbally, yes, he harassed me, but he did apologise. I have to let it go. I have to give you a chance for us to be friends again.”

Tambor was previously accused of sexual assault by his Transparent co-star, Trace Lysette, and former assistant, Van Barnes. He has denied the accusations and told ET he felt "great" earlier this month.

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