Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Jeffrey Tambor Ends Role on Amazon's Transparent Amid Sexual Harassment Allegations

Actor Jeffrey Tambor said he will not return for the fifth season of the Emmy-winning television comedy “Transparent” following a second accusation of sexual harassment made by a female member of the show’s cast, according to a report in the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA).

“Playing Maura Pfefferman on ‘Transparent’ has been one of the greatest privileges and creative experiences of my life,” Tambor first told Deadline on Sunday. “What has become clear over the past weeks, however, is that this is no longer the job I signed up for four years ago.

 Jeffrey Tambor will end his role on Amazon's Transparent amid sexual harassment allegations
Jeffrey Tambor will end his role on Amazon's Transparent amid sexual harassment allegations

“I’ve already made clear my deep regret if any action of mine was ever misinterpreted by anyone as being aggressive, but the idea that I would deliberately harass anyone is simply and utterly untrue. Given the politicized atmosphere that seems to have afflicted our set, I don’t see how I can return to ‘Transparent.’”

Tambor, who is Jewish, played the transgender head of a dysfunctional Jewish family in the series.

Deadline had reported last week that the writers of “Transparent” were contemplating writing Tambor out of the fifth season of the Amazon series, which was created by Jill Soloway.

Last week, Trace Lysette, who has played the recurring character Shea on the series since its first season, wrote on Twitter that Tambor had made “sexual advances and comments” toward her and “one time it got physical.”

Tambor’s former assistant, Van Barnes, a transgender woman, made the first allegations in a private Facebook post on Nov. 8 that was not widely circulated in the media. Tambor dismissed them as “baseless” charges coming from a “disgruntled former assistant.”

The claims against Tambor, which are the subject of an internal probe launched by Amazon, are the latest in a string of complaints made against celebrities in the wake of a New York Times article last month about the alleged harassment by Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, who was fired from the company he founded over the allegations.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Amazing Four-Generation Jewish Story of Alex Bregman of the Houston Astros

Peter Gammons, the iconic sports writer, recently penned a beautiful, inspiring article about Alex Bregman. Bregman's rise to the Major Leagues is one for the history books. Gammons paints a wonderful picture of Bregman's Jewish family and how baseball has been a part of it for generations.

The amazing story of a four-generation journey, culminating in Alex Bregman and his family's American Dream, by Peter Gammons

The starting point of Alex Bregman’s road to the World Series didn’t begin at age four, when he turned an unassisted triple play in his first T-ball game. Or when he was the first high school sophomore to be named the USA Baseball Player of the Year. Or when he homered off Chris Sale to lead the Houston Astros to victory in the clinching game of the American League Division Series at Fenway Park.

We’ve come to expect all that. That’s just Alex Bregman. He wore the number 30 at LSU to signify the number of teams that didn’t select him in the early rounds of the 2012 draft, and now he wears No. 2 for the Astros not to celebrate Derek Jeter, but because “he knows he should have been the first pick, not the second, in the [2015] draft,” says his father Sam.

No, as Sam Bregman watches his 23-year-old son hitting homers, knocking in game-winning runs and playing a brilliant third base as the Astros battle the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series, he will tell you the starting point of Alex’s journey goes back to the end of the 19th century. “It’s the fulfillment of four generations of short Jewish Bregmans who dreamed of playing in the major leagues,” Sam says. “The big leagues and the World Series. One hundred twenty years in America fulfilled by Alex in this World Series.”