Before he was Maura on the banner Jeffrey Tambor was George Sr. at Arrested Development . And while Season 4 of the Netflix series hinted George may be transitioning, there is a direct Transparent joke in Arrested Development Season 5. George dressed as a woman in the series last set of new episodes but that could not have been a reference to the award-winning family drama; the timing does not work. So it was not necessary to hold the plot for Arrested to keep these very special jokes about the actor's other most famous role in the new season.
Earlier this year, Tambor was fired by Transparent after Amazon investigated allegations of sexual harassment against the actor. Tambor has rejected these allegations, but that does not make the  Arrested Development Season 5 joke any less uncomfortable. Spoiler for all Arrested Development Season 5 follows
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For his role as transsexual Maura, Tambor won two Emmys and a Golden Globe for Best Actor in a comedy series. And while these awards may have been something to celebrate before the allegations, the joke now seems insensitive to the two women who accused him of sexual harassment on the set of Transparent ; the woman who claimed to have experienced a previous incident of harassment in 2001; and anyone who was triggered by these allegations. Bustle appealed to Netflix regarding the Transparent jokes in Arrested Development and the company declined to comment.
Before Amazon let him go, Tambor published a statement that denied the allegations and contained the sentence: "Given the politicized atmosphere that our set seems to hit, I do not see how I can Transparent can return. " In an interview in May 2018 with The Hollywood Reporter he clarified that this statement was not his resignation. But Amazon has made the decision for him. Tambor also admitted to THR that he would scream on the set of Transparent and be "rude" and "moody". Vulture asked Tambor in an interview if these allegations changed the mood on set Arrested Development Season 5. "That happened after we were done," Tambor said. "We were in the penultimate week in which the series was filmed when the Transparent allegations became known."
In his Hollywood Reporter interview, Tambor also brought about how he had a "blowup" against Jessica Walter (Lucille) on the set of Arrested Development . He claimed that he "apologized profusely" afterwards. Members of the Arrested Development cast had defended Tambor before Season 5, but an interview on The New York Times proved that Tambor's behavior had influenced at least one of them. (Alia Shawkat, who plays Maeby, said in late April IndieWire's allegations, "I support the voices of the victims, though, whatever they said.")
During the Times conversation with Walter became emotional about how Tambor had verbally abused her in the past. During this discussion, her male co-stars Will Arnett, Jason Bateman, David Cross and Tony Hale seemed to minimize the incident and its impact on them. (Only Shawkat defended Walter.) Bateman, Hale, and Cross have since said that they regret the way they treated Walter in the interview.
As for Transparent it makes sense that Arrested Development had to deal with the fact that George Sr. was disguised as a woman the last time. Deadline reported that showrunner Mitch Hurwitz had planned to make George Sr. a woman after Season 4. But then Tambor appeared in Transparent next year, so Hurwitz rejected the idea. But the show could have moved this story without reference to the prizes that Tambor won for Transparent – or the "shameful mistakes" he had made. For example, in Season 5, Episode 7, it turned out that Lucille has made George take estrogen to explain his hormone levels. This scene contains no hints to Transparent and is much better for it. As the shootings were almost completed, editing Episode 1 might have required re-recording. But it would have been the much more respectful choice.
Obviously, many of the key stakeholders involved in Arrested Development Tambor and so maybe the joke seemed to them to be no big deal. But when society finally realized how important it was to listen to the stories of the victims, the series would have removed them out of respect for the people who accused Tambor. Yes, because of Tambor's involvement in Transparent for four seasons it was an easy joke to make. But it's rare that the easy way out is the right way out and Arrested Development Transparent joke is just another example of that.