Sebastian Bear-McClard is facing accusations of sexual misconduct, grooming, and assault related to multiple young women, a new report in Variety alleges.
The “Uncut Gems” and “Good Time” producer, who co-founded Elara Pictures in 2014 with writer-directors Josh and Benny Safdie, allegedly abused his power on set during the casting process and auditions for the indie films, distributed by A24.
An unnamed woman alleged in an interview with Variety that Bear-McClard reached out to her via Instagram when she was 17 years old in early 2016. The woman was approached to audition for a small role on “Good Time,” the Safdie brothers’ feature. Per Variety, the woman “came from an impoverished background in New York” and when she arrived on set, she was surprised to discover her scene involved being naked amongst nearly a dozen male cast and crew members, including writer-directors Josh and Benny Safdie.
The woman recalled that she “was utterly stunned and felt terrified. My distress only worsened when out of nowhere, [an actor] whispered in my ear if ‘he could stick it in’ while the cameras rolled. I said, ‘No.'”
Star Robert Pattinson was not on set during the “Good Time” scene in question. The sequence does not appear in the final film, though the actress’ name is in the final credits. However, the scene was used in promotional footage that was presented to buyers at the 2016 Cannes market. (A24 bought U.S. rights to the film later in the fall, and it premiered in Cannes competition the following year.) A source close to the Safdies noted that the scene was never in the final cut of the film due to creative reasons. She was not paid for her performance and claimed Bear-McClard only purchased her cigarettes after the shoot.
The woman, now 24 years old, issued her statement in connection with a legal dispute involving producer Bear-McClard, who is currently in the process of a divorce and custody battle with actress-model Emily Ratajkowski.
Per Variety, the unnamed woman alleges that she began a sexual relationship with Bear-McClard after the shoot when she was still age 17, the age of consent in New York. She alleges their relationship continued for more than two years. Bear-McClard and Ratajkowski wed in 2018 after dating for two weeks. They share a young son together, born in 2021.
The “Good Time” actress’ allegations are among many that appear in the Variety report that alleges predatory behavior by Bear-McClard. Another woman, who was 18 at the time, said that she met Bear-McClard during the “Uncut Gems” production 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 alleges that “without asking for my consent, Sebastian inserted himself inside me without using a condom.” She claimed Bear-McClard called her derogatory words like “retarded” and Jewish slur “kike,” but added that the phrases were just a “joke.”
The woman alleges that Bear-McClard also sent Instagram direct messages to a 15-year-0ld girl who visited the “Uncut Gems” set. “Sebastian appeared pleased with himself and laughed at my comment. He did not deny my accusations,” she said when she confronted him.
Multiple other sources confirmed Bear-McClard’s contact with the 15-year-old, as well as Bear-McClard pursuing an assistant on the “Uncut Gems” set, which in part led to his firing by the Safdie brothers years later.
A source tells IndieWire that A24 was not aware of any such allegations when it licensed “Good Time” for U.S. distribution in 2016 and that the distributor never received a complaint during the making of “Uncut Gems.” A24 teamed with that film as distributor in 2017.
Bear-McClard is also involved in an ongoing private mediation with the Safdie brothers, who fired him from their shared production company Elara Pictures in summer 2022. A spokeswoman for the Safdies told Variety, “The Elara team were made aware of Sebastian McClard’s behavior in July 2022. They took immediate action and terminated him.”
A24 set a first-look deal with Elara Pictures in 2020; Variety noted that there were rumors of inappropriate on-set behavior behind “Good Time” and “Uncut Gems” prior to A24 forging the deal.
A representative for the Safdie brothers declined to comment.
IndieWire has reached out to representatives for Elara Pictures, Emily Ratajkowski, and A24 for comment.
Additional reporting by Christian Blauvelt and Ryan Lattanzio.