'Arrested Development' star regrets her silence in NYT interview

Alia Shawkat wishes she had defended Jessica Walter more

'Arrested Development' star regrets her silence in NYT interview
Stars Insider

06/11/18 | StarsInsider

CELEBRITY Arrested Development

The cast of 'Arrested Development' has been making more headlines for their on-set controversies than for the latest season of the show. Last month, the stars sat down with the New York Times for a promotional interview, that turned into an on-air conflict and media frenzy. 

Things took a turn for the hostile when the cast began discussing the sexual harassment allegations Jeffrey Tambor (George Bluth) is facing from his 'Transparent' costar. Tambor's 'Arrested Development' on-screen wife, Jessica Walter (Lucile Bluth), explained that she endured repeated verbal abuse from him throughout the show's run.

Though Walter was in tears, many of the cast members defended Tambor's actions. Alia Shawkat (Maeby Fünke) instead came to Walter's defense—however, she wishes she would have done more.

In an interview with Broadly, Shawkat recounted the interview, saying, “They started going on about how they support Jeffrey and they love him, and he’s a great actor—all these things that I agree with; I care about Jeffrey and I think he’s a great actor. But what continued to go on was, in my opinion, too much.”

"I looked at Jessica and I could see how it was sitting with her, and it wasn’t good,” Shawkat said. “She comes in and she tries to speak for a little while, and again they keep going.”

The large cast was all talking over each other and never listening, Shawkat recalls. She goes on to explain that, "I finally got a word in edgewise, and [that’s when] Jessica got very emotional and started crying. Once that happened, I realized we were having a public and private conversation at the same time, which is very unnatural. All of a sudden, we’re having this intense moment as a group of people who’ve known each other for 15 years—and it’s being recorded," she said.

Following the controversy, Shawkat looked back and regretted that the interview was dominated by her male cast members. “I felt like I didn’t say enough to defend her," she said. "I felt like I didn’t say enough to explain that the movement is so important—and that Jeffrey's story is a piece of this movement, and we can’t silence it. Women’s voices need to be heard, and, ironically enough—I wasn’t able to be heard," she said.

Check out the full interview on Vice's Broadly here.

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