After accusations that Jeffrey Tambor had harassed his co-star Trace Lysette and his former assistant Van Barnes on the set of Transparent, Tambor was promptly fired from the show last year (though not without some awful handwringing from the show’s creator Jill Soloway.) As for what happens to Maura Pfefferman, the show’s central character, who Tambor won two Emmys for portraying? She’ll be killed off.
The Los Angeles Times reports that the last season of the show will begin with Maura’s death and the family grappling with the death. It will also, somehow, end in a musical number. The mourning on the show is reportedly a reflection of the mourning Soloway and the show’s staff felt in real life. “We were all in mourning in many ways, and we all had to process together,” Soloway told the paper. “The show has always been a reflection of who we were and we were mourning our own narrative.”
It’s unclear if by mourning Soloway means they were mourning the end of the show or the fact that trans women, who the show was positioned as serving, were harassed on set. After Lysette came forward with her allegations of sexual harassment (which Tambor has denied), Soloway wrote in their book about an excruciating one-on-one meeting the two had, where Soloway told Lysette that “Maura became this beautiful symbol of transness and now you’re laying this imagery out there of her being a predator.” “I’m the victim here and YOU’RE crying?” Lysette asked Soloway.
Transparent dodged criticisms from the trans community long before the allegations against Tambor surfaced, specifically the issue that Tambor was a cis actor playing a trans character. Though Soloway continually positioned the show as work of activism for the trans community rather than simply a TV show, its existence was ultimately more harmful to trans women considering Lysette’s account. The show has nowhere to go but the end.