Tambor is cisgender and Transparent has received criticism for casting him in the role of a retired college professor who comes out as a transgender woman late in life. However, Tambor has also received praise from many in the transgender community for using his position to advocate for more roles for transgender actors.
Now, listen to me. … I'm not going to say this beautifully. But to you people out there, you producers and network owners, and agents, and you creative sparks, please give transgender talent a chance. Give them auditions. Give them their story. Do that. And also, one more thing: I would not be unhappy were I the last cisgender male to play a female transgender on television. We have work to do. I love you.
Laverne Cox, the first transgender actress to be nominated for an Emmy Award, later echoed his words at the same event: "I just want to echo what Jeffrey Tambor said. I would not be here tonight if someone hadn't given me a chance. Give trans talent a shot."