Jason Bateman apologizes for interview comments about Jessica Walter


In anticipation for the release of the new season of Arrested Development, the New York Times held a group interview with Jason Bateman and the rest of the cast.

During the interview, Jessica Walter said that Jeffrey Tambor verbally berated her on set. Also being interviewed were fellow cast members Tony Hale and Jason Bateman. Bateman and Hale both play sons of Jessica Walter’s character Lucille Bluth. Bateman plays Michael Bluth and Hale plays Buster Bluth.

In response to Walter, Bateman commented that:

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"“Not to belittle it, but a lot of stuff happens in 15 years… In the entertainment industry, it is incredibly common to have people who are, in quotes, ‘difficult.’… You have different people’s processes that converge and collide at times. So Jeffrey is not just popping off, coming out of his car and some unhinged guy… Not to say that you know, you [Walter] had it coming. But this is not in a vacuum — families come together and certain dynamics collide and clash every once in a while. And there are all kinds of things that go into the stew so it’s a little narrow to single that one particular thing that is getting attention from our show.”"

This comment gathered much attention from readers and viewers, as it seemed like Bateman was trying to minimize or rationalize Tambor’s behavior. Tambor has also been accused of sexual misconduct based on his time on Transparent.

Coupled with the fact that Jessica Walter was in tears when speaking about it, the actor’s statement comes across as tone dead at best and increased the controversy. Especially when Jessica Walter was referring to an incident Jeffrey Tambor had already admitted to in an interview. Walter also took issue with the claim that this was just another case of an actor being difficult, claiming that she had never experienced anything like that in all her time as an actress.

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Bateman has subsequently posted a lengthy apology on Twitter. He also elaborated that he doesn’t condone or excuse what happened on set and is deeply embarrassed. The actor also said the interview was a big learning experience for him.  Subsequently, Bateman apologized on Twitter to Jessica and for how his comments were interpreted. Fellow cast member Tony Hale also tweeted an apology to Walter.

The new season of Arrested Development airs tomorrow, May 25.