Has Jason Bateman’s Mansplaining Killed “Arrested Development”?

Matthew Loffhagen
(Photo: Netflix)

I think we might finally be at the end of “Arrested Development”.

The show has survived cancellation thanks to the wonders of Netflix, and then a subsequent delay when the show’s fourth season was (let’s face it) a little bit garbage. It almost seemed like season five might be the moment that “Arrested Development” finally hit its stride.

Not so, it seems. It turns out that there’s only so much you can do to defend a verbally abusive costar before it sours the experience for the audience. A cast interview with the New York Times has dramatically changed the way audiences view “Arrested Development”.

A Terrible Mistake

To cut a long story short, Jeffrey Tambor has admitted to yelling at coworkers, including Jessica Walter. In the interview, Walter said that “In like almost 60 years of working, I’ve never had anybody yell at me like that on a set”. Jason Bateman’s response was to defend Tambor, and insist that Walter was overreacting.

Bateman also stated that if Tambor is fired from “Arrested Development” following allegations of verbal and sexual assault, then he himself will also not be appearing in a possible future season six.

The internet has not been kind to Jason Bateman today.

Bateman has attempted to apologize for what he himself calls “mansplaining”, but the damage has been done. Nobody is going to go into the upcoming season of “Arrested Development” with quite the same attitude.

It astounds me that Bateman felt the need to jump in and take charge of the interview, shutting down a woman who was at one point sobbing as she spoke about the horrific experience she’d had working with Jeffrey Tambor.

The fact that anybody working in the entertainment industry thinks that this behavior is appropriate shows that the environment is still inherently toxic.

This is The End

I get the feeling that this will be the end of “Arrested Development”. The show is increasingly difficult to put together thanks to the busy schedules of all cast members. Now, the new series is mired in controversy, and it’s likely that this aging comedy probably doesn’t have the same appeal as it once did.

The moral of the story: don’t abuse people, and don’t defend abuse.

I only wish that lesson wasn’t so hard for people to learn.