Jason Bateman is currently on the end of a social media backlash after he defended ‘Arrested Development’ co-star Jeffrey Tambor over verbal harassment claims – as fellow star Jessica Walter, who had been on the receiving end of that treatment, cried just a few feet away.

‘Arrested Development’ is about to make a comeback to TV after a five year hiatus for its fifth season, and the cast gave a collective interview to the New York Times this week, published on Wednesday (May 23rd).

Jessica Walter, who played Tambor’s on-screen wife and Bateman’s mother in the series, claimed that Tambor verbally harassed her on-set. Tambor himself then admitted that he had done this, and that he had “profusely apologised” and called Walter a “walking acting lesson”.

However, it was what Bateman then said that got people’s backs up on social media.

Jason BatemanJason Bateman is being roundly criticised for his part in the interview

“Again, 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’,” the 49 year old star explained.

“And when you’re in a privileged position to hire people, or have an influence in who does get hired, you make phone calls… and you learn about character and you learn about work habits, work ethics, and you start to understand… It’s a weird thing, and it is a breeding ground for atypical behavior and certain people have certain processes.”

More: Jeffrey Tambor hits out at “deeply flawed” Amazon investigation after he’s dropped from ‘Transparent’

Walter, 77, then reportedly said: “Let me just say one thing that I just realized in this conversation. I have to let go of being angry at him. He never crossed the line on our show, with any, you know, sexual whatever. Verbally, yes, he harassed me, but he did apologize. I have to let it go. And I have to give you [Tambor] a chance to, you know, for us to be friends again… But it’s hard because honestly — Jason says this happens all the time. In like 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.”

Jeffrey TamborJeffrey Tambor is playing a part in 'Arrested Development' s5

73 year old Tambor, of course, was dropped from his hit Amazon Prime series ‘Transparent’ at the end of 2017 amid a number of allegations of sexual misconduct on the set. However, earlier this month, Netflix confirmed that he would be taking part in its revival of the series.

“I think one of the grossest things about that ‘Arrested Development’ interview is Jason Bateman bending over backwards to make Tambor, a harasser, comfortable, while making Jessica Walter, the harassed, actively less comfortable,” was a typical reaction on Twitter to the interview.

‘Arrested Development’ returns on May 29th on Netflix for the first eight episodes of season five, with second batch of eight episodes coming later in 2018.

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