How Did a Minor Wind Up Naked on the Set of a Safdie Brothers Movie?

The revelation about the set of "Good Time" comes as part of allegations of sexual misconduct against "Uncut Gems" producer Sebastian Bear-McClard

Joshua Safdie and Benjamin Safdie, winners of Best Director for "Uncut Gems," attend the 2020 Film Independent Spirit Awards.
Joshua Safdie and Benjamin Safdie, winners of Best Director for "Uncut Gems," attend the 2020 Film Independent Spirit Awards.
Getty Images for Film Independen

On Wednesday, Variety published a story outlining allegations of sexual misconduct made by multiple women against Sebastian Bear-McClard. Bear-McClard is perhaps best known as the estranged husband of Emily Ratajkowski, but he’s also a producer who has worked with the Safdie Brothers on their films Good Time and Uncut Gems, and one of the more disturbing details of the story involves a 17-year-old girl’s experience on the set of the former.

According to the publication, Bear-McClard reached out to the girl on Instagram in early 2016 and asked her to appear in the Robert Pattinson film. “On the day of filming, she waited all day on the New York set for her scene to be called, unaware of what it entailed,” the article notes. “By the time she made her way to a cramped room, she was naked, standing in front of nearly a dozen male cast and crew members including Josh and Benny Safdie. Instead of performing in a scene with Pattinson, she was paired with an actor who had recently been released from prison before being hired for the film.” 

The young woman, who is now 24, said in a statement 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.’”

That’s horrifying for a number of reasons. The Variety article focuses primarily on Bear-McClard and his transgressions, but it also raises major concern over why the Safdie Brothers allowed an underage actress to film a nude scene without fully informing her — or any adults representing her — what it would entail in advance. (The scene was eventually cut from the final edit of the movie.)

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As Variety notes, “The allegations raise serious questions about why a 17-year-old girl who had no agent at the time was filming nude scenes on the set of a movie. There’s no ironclad rule barring underage nudity, but there is a general Screen Actors Guild requirement that employment conditions not be ‘detrimental to the health, morals and safety of the minor.’”  

“It sounds like they circumvented the entire safety structure of our industry by hiring somebody on Instagram who was not a union member, who doesn’t know her rights,” Anne Henry, co-founder of BizParentz, an advocacy group for child actors, told the publication. “Normally, minors have to have their contracts court affirmed, and there’s lots of other hoops in order to cast a minor. This is so not normal. Everything is wrong about this situation.” 

A24, the company that released Good Time and Uncut Gems, declined to comment to Variety about the allegations.

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