Benny Safdie faces allegations of misconduct from 'Uncut Gems' producer Sebastian Bear-McClard, Elara Pictures firing

Benny Safdie faces allegations of misconduct from ‘Uncut Gems’ producer Sebastian Bear-McClard, Elara Pictures firing

Benny Safdie says the firing of former collaborator Sebastian Bear-McClard following “disgusting” allegations of misconduct against the Uncut gems the producer wanted to take over and helped him realize that “you have to be much more careful”.

While promoting his role in Christopher Nolan OppenheimerElara Pictures co-founder and writer-director addressed the multiple allegations leveled against Bear-McClard by those who worked at Uncut gems AND Good time in an interview with GQ magazine. The interview marks one of the director’s first public comments following a brief earlier statement from him and his brother Josh Safdie clarifying that Bear-McClard had fired him from his role with the studio.

Related stories

That decision came after multiple women, including a 24-year-old the producer hired Good time in 2016 and began a sexual relationship with her when she was 17 – she revealed that she contacted them through platforms such as Instagram and started behaving inappropriately and harassingly, second Variety.

“It’s disgusting, and when you find out something about someone you didn’t realize you just have to be a lot more careful,” Benny said of the controversy, which saw Bear-McClard fired from the studio he co-founded with the Brothers Safdie. “It’s a lot, and it’s not something you want to happen to anyone. And when you find out, the only thing you can do is simply take control.

Benny also opened up about why he and brother Josh have gone their separate ways on projects since their success with Uncut gems. Last year, Adam Sandler was supposed to reunite with the filmmaking brothers for a new film, set in the world of sports memorabilia collectors, but news later broke that Benny would not be co-directing.

“Elara is still there. We work on a lot of documentaries and there’s just a constant flow of ideas,” she explained. “It just felt like, OK, there are things I want to explore that don’t necessarily align right now with Josh. So it’s a divide and conquer mentality. He wants to tell this story, he can. I’m going to do a couple of other things. It seems like a natural progression as things have gone.

One of those other projects he’s working on is The curse. What was once a 30-minute comedy, now an hour-long comedy-drama stars Nathan Fielder and Emma Stone alongside Benny, who plays an HGTV producer.

“They live in an area called Española, near Santa Fe. And that’s where they are building their new homes. They have a very different way of gentrifying the community. They want to do it ethically and they want to do it in a way that doesn’t harm anyone. So they want to make a show about that. And you follow their lives as they do it,” Benny said.

It was this show and a few on-screen roles that held the director’s attention for a while, leading his brother and longtime collaborator Ronald Bronstein to delve into their new Sandler project. So stepping back made sense. “It was just a question of, ‘This works for me right now and this is what I have to do,'” he said.