James Bond director Cary Fukunaga accused of sexual misconduct on set
Cary Fukunaga is one of Hollywood's most versatile directors, having aced it in both television and film formats. But it looks like the talent comes with trouble as the 'No Time To Die' filmmaker has been accused of abusing his power on the sets of the upcoming Apple TV miniseries 'Masters of the Air.'
Fukunaga has directed a couple of episodes of the World War II miniseries, executive-produced by Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg, and it is being alleged that he made 2 background artists stay back for photographs after wrapping up a scene. Though Fukunaga claimed that the stills were for continuity purposes, the accusers - who happen to be a part of the production - claim that he urged the artists to pose suggestively, making them bend against a wall and kneel on the ground.
Opening up to Rolling Stone, the production sources alleged that the photographing took place along with an interaction that lasted for around 10 minutes and it was "an absolute, clear-cut abuse of power." "It was way past the line. There's no sort of argument that it is OK in any way," one of the sources said. Cary Fukunaga's attorney, however, has stated the director "takes pictures of actors - men and women, young and old - on his sets all of the time." Fukunaga's lawyer, apart from acknowledging that his client took pictures of the artists, also mentioned in the statement to Rolling Stone that it would be "false and defamatory" to "imply anything improper about doing so."
However, this isn't the first time such allegations are being made against Fukunaga. The director was accused of misconduct earlier last month by 3 women, who met him on the sets of a commercial and on a TV set. Sources who have worked with Fukunaga on TV series, commercials, and films over the past six years have remarked that he uses his sets as a spot to meet younger women and "openly pursue" multiple cast and crew members at the same time during production.
A crew member alleged that Fukunaga's persistent pursuit bordered on workplace harassment and that he didn't seem to take the hint when she tried to turn him down. Another source claimed that he sidelined her from a job opportunity and asked her out instead. This claim has been denied by Fukunaga.
Earlier last month, actress Rachel Vinberg claimed in a long Instagram story that she was diagnosed with PTSD from her relationship with Fukunaga. She added that she "spent years being scared of him," and that theirs was a friendship that eventually turned sexual. "Man's a groomer and has been doing this shit for years. Beware women," Vinberg said.
Other former partners of Fukunaga claimed that he made them feel "claustrophobic and suffocating" and that he treated them "like trash." "When I thought about him, I just wanted to vomit," one of them said.
Michael Plonsker, Fukunaga's attorney, also added in his statement that "there was nothing salacious about pursuing friendships or consensual romantic relationships with women" and that "no one ever voiced such sentiments," dismissing claims that Fukunaga made women feel uncomfortable with his romantic advances. "He creates a work environment that is creative, collaborative and welcoming to all," Plonsker said.