Cary Fukunaga: No Time to Die director accused of ‘inappropriate behaviour’ on film sets

Filmmaker has denied the claims that he ‘groomed’ young women on film sets

Director Cary Joji Fukunaga gives a behind-the-scenes look at No Time To Die

No Time to Die director Cary Fukunaga has been accused of using his film sets to pursue young female cast and crew members.

In a Rolling Stone article published on Tuesday (31 May), nearly a dozen sources came forward to claim that the filmmaker repeatedly crossed professional lines.

They also alleged that Fukunaga, 44, used his films as an opportunity to pursue sexual relationships with much younger female cast and crew members.

Fukunaga has denied the claims.

Sources who have worked with Fukunaga over the past six years have accused him of openly pursuing multiple female cast and crew members on his sets.

One crew member has claimed that the director’s persistence “bordered on workplace harassment”.

Earlier this month, Fukunaga was accused of “grooming” young women by actor Rachelle Vinberg, whom he had met in 2016 on set for a Samsung commercial the day after she turned 18.

Vinberg – who starred in HBO’s hit show Betty – made allegations against the filmmaker, writing on Instagram: “I spent many years scared of him. Man is a groomer and has been doing this s*** for years. Beware, women.”

She said that she has been diagnosed with PTSD due to her relationship with Fukunaga, which eventually became romantic.

Another source who spoke to Rolling Stone claimed to have dated Fukunaga for a few months after meeting him on one of his sets, and said “he made me feel so claustrophobic and suffocating”.

An attorney acting on behalf of Fukunaga told the publication that the director had “not acted in any manner that would or should generate” an article focusing on claims of misconduct made against him.

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“There is nothing salacious about pursuing friendships or consensual romantic relationships with women,” Michael Plonsker said in a statement. “Nevertheless, because that would not fit your narrative, you conclude he has done something wrong.”

Lashana Lynch, Daniel Craig, Lea Seydoux and Cary Joji Fukunaga at the world premiere of No Time To Die, at the Royal Albert Hall in London (Ian West/PA)

Addressing Vinberg’s allegations, Plonsker claimed that the director “had a very brief and consensual romantic relationship with [Vinberg] that has ended”.

“Ms Vinberg is clearly not happy with Mr Fukunaga, but as everyone knows, relationships end all of the time and many times one person (or both) are unhappy,” he said.

He denied Vinberg’s allegations that Fukunaga “groomed” her.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood star Margaret Qualley – who was romantically linked to Fukunaga in 2017 – liked Vinberg’s post about “gaslighting” men on Instagram.

Similarily, Kristine Froseth – who has also been previously romantically linked to Fukunaga – shared Vinberg’s initial statement about the director in an Instagram story, accompanied by her own posts about the stages and signs of grooming.

Vinberg’s social media post prompted Hannah and Cailin Loesch (who worked with Fukunaga on Maniac) to come forward with their own accusations, claiming they met the director when they were 20.

Among other claims, the sisters alleged that the director made sexual advances on both of them, and once suggested that “incest is fine ‘if all parties are okay with it’” while they were sat in a hot tub together.

Through his attorney, Fukunaga denied the allegations, stating that he never asked the Loesch sisters to participate in a threesome. He also claimed that the “incest comment ‘never happened’”.

Rachelle Vinberg, Ajani Russell, Nina Moran, Dede Lovelace, and Alexander Cooper in Skate Kitchen

The Independent has contacted a representative of Fukunaga for comment.

In 2021, actor Raeden Greer accused Fukunaga of firing her from the first season of True Detective when she was asked to go topless for a scene, despite claiming that she did not have a nudity rider in her contract.

“It was degrading,” Greer told The Daily Beast. “And now, Cary is out here talking about his female characters — it’s like another slap in the face over and over and over.”

Fukunaga won an Emmy in 2014 for directing the first season of HBO’s True Detective, starring Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey.

In 2015, he directed the critically acclaimed Netflix film Beasts of No Nation starring Idris Elba. Last year, he became the first American to direct a James Bond film with No Time to Die.

If you have been raped or sexually assaulted, you can contact your nearest Rape Crisis organisation for specialist, independent and confidential support. For more information, visit their website here.

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