Uncut Gems’ Sebastian Bear-McClard has been accused of sexual misconduct
Accused Sebastian Bear-McClard was fired from the Safdies’ Elara Pictures in the summer of 2022.
Sebastian Bear-McClard faces charges of sexual abuse, grooming and harassment involving several young women. according to a new report from Variety.
The “Uncut Gems” and “Good Time” producer, who co-founded Elara Pictures with writer-directors Josh and Benny Safdie in 2014, allegedly abused his power on set during casting and auditions for independent films distributed by A24.
An unnamed woman told Variety that Bear-McClard approached her through Instagram when she was 17 in early 2016. The woman was invited to audition for a small role in “Good Time”, a film by the Safdie brothers. . Per Variety , the woman “came from a poor background in New York” and when she arrived on set, she was surprised to discover her scene, in which she appeared naked among nearly a dozen male cast and crew members, including writer-directors Josh and Benny Safdie. .
The woman recalled that she was “completely shocked and terrified. My sadness was only compounded when out of nowhere (an actor) whispered in my ear if he could “stick it in” while the cameras were rolling. I said no.'”
Star Robert Pattinson was absent from the “Good Time” scene in question. The sequence does not appear in the final film, although the actress’ name is included in the final film. However, the scene was used in promotional footage shown to buyers at the 2016 Cannes market. (A24 bought the American rights to the film later that fall, and it premiered in competition at Cannes the following year.) A source close to the Safdies noted that the scene never made it into the final cut of the film for creative reasons. She was not paid for her performance and claimed Bear-McClard only bought her cigarettes after filming.
The now 24-year-old woman released her statement in connection with a legal dispute with producer Bear-McClard, who is currently pursuing a divorce and custody case with actress-model Emily Ratajkowski.
Per Variety, the unnamed woman claims she began having sex with Bear-McClard after filming, when she was 17, the age of consent in New York. She claims their relationship lasted more than two years. Bear-McClard and Ratajkowski married in 2018 after dating for two weeks. They have a son together, who was born in 2021.
The “Good Time” actress’ claims are among the many in a Variety report alleging predatory behavior by Bear-McClard. Another woman, who was 18 at the time, said she met Bear-McClard during the production of “Uncut Gems,” when he was married to “Gone Girl” actress Ratajkowski.
She claimed Bear-McClard began “grooming” her on Instagram and promised to help her acting career. When they met in person, she claims, “without asking my consent, Sebastian inserted himself inside me without using a condom.” He claimed he called Bear-McClard derogatory words such as “retarded” and the Jewish slur “kike”, but added that the terms were only “jokes”.
The woman alleges Bear-McClard also sent direct messages on Instagram to a 15-year-old 0-year-old girl who visited the “Uncut Gems” set. “Sebastian looked pleased with himself and laughed at my comment. He did not deny my allegations,” she said when confronted.
Several other sources have confirmed Bear-McClard’s relationship with the 15-year-old boy, as well as Bear-McClard’s stalking of an assistant on the set of “Uncut Gems,” which in part led to his firing by the Safdie brothers years later.
A source tells IndieWire that A24 was unaware of such allegations when it licensed “Good Time” for U.S. distribution in 2016, and that the distributor never received any complaints during the making of “Uncut Gems.” A24 cooperated as the film’s distributor in 2017.
Bear-McClard is also in an ongoing private mediation with the Safdie brothers, who fired her from their joint production company, Elara Pictures, in the summer of 2022. A Safdies spokesperson told Variety: “The Elara team was made aware of Sebastian McClard’s behavior in July 2022. They took immediate action and terminated him.”
A24 has a first-look deal with Elara Pictures for 2020; Variety noted that there were rumors of inappropriate behavior behind “Good Time” and “Uncut Gems” before A24 closed the deal.
A representative for the Safdie brothers declined to comment.
IndieWire has reached out to representatives of Elara Pictures, Emily Ratajkowski and A24 for comment.
Additional reporting by Christian Blauvelt and Ryan Lattanzio.
Register: Stay up to date with the latest movie and TV news! Subscribe to our email newsletter here.