AceShowbiz - "Arrested Development" creator Mitchell Hurwitz regrets failing to recognise how upset actress Jessica Walter had been following an on set outburst by her TV husband Jeffrey Tambor.
Walter tearfully recalled how Tambor had lost his temper in a heated argument with her during filming for the new fifth season of the comedy series in a cast interview with The New York Times in late May, but her co-stars Jason Bateman and Tony Hale brushed off her comments and played down the embattled actor's verbal abuse, suggesting that was part of his "process".
Bateman and Hale subsequently apologised after facing a public backlash for attempting to minimise Walter's complaint, which emerged after Tambor was fired from Amazon drama "Transparent" at the beginning of 2018 following allegations of sexual and other forms of harassment on set.
Now Hurwitz has weighed in on the fall out, which prompted the cancellation of the cast's U.K. press tour, admitting he had no idea how much the outburst had affected Walter at the time - because he didn't think much of the drama when it unfolded before his eyes.
"I'm guilty of not realising how deeply upsetting that was for Jessica," he confessed to Deadline.com. "I heard about it and saw parts of it in the dailies (playback of the day's taping), although the part I saw didn't seem that - I don't know - momentous. But fights and outbursts always start with things that are smaller."
Hurwitz claims the incident that sparked the fight between the veteran actors was "something minor", as the actress had wanted to "redo something in her speech", a correction which irked Tambor and caused him to walk off set.
Walter voiced her feelings about the disagreement to Hurwitz at the time, but she was "really gracious" when Tambor later said sorry for his actions, and "didn't let on that it was still upsetting and present for her".
It was only after the controversy of The New York Times chat that Hurwitz realised he had "misinterpreted" the situation, "and more importantly, the depth of Jessica's pain about it".
He added, "I feel so bad about that. I feel bad because I love these people - I feel bad for very personal reasons... I wish I'd known, or made a greater effort to know, the pain that it caused."
Elsewhere in the Deadline interview, Hurwitz defended his decision not to fire Tambor from Netflix's Arrested Development following his ousting from Transparent, insisting that although he could be "difficult" at times, he had never received a sexual harassment complaint about the actor in their two decades of working together.