Cary Fukunaga attends the "China: Through The Looking Glass" Costume Institute Benefit Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 4, 2015 in New York City.
Larry Busacca—2015 Getty Images
September 1, 2015 12:00 PM EDT

It’s an open secret that there was no love lost between True Detective writer Nic Pizzolatto and season one director Cary Fukunaga. While Nic Pizzolatto has a reputation for being intense, Fukunaga is reportedly more easygoing. Some have speculated that this led to clashes in artistic vision during filming. And at last year’s Emmys, Fukunaga left Pizzolatto out of his acceptance speech before opting out of directing a second season of the show.

Fukunaga did stick around as a producer on season two, however, which is why it was so shocking when a director character that looked a little like Fukunaga was mocked in episode three.

The director with a ponytail (you know, like Fukunaga had last year) parties too much — “To tell you the truth, I drink, so it makes my recollection unreliable” — and is extremely sarcastic with the detectives. Most fans interpreted this as Pizzolatto caricaturing Fukunaga, though Pizzolatto has denied that that was the case.

The director told Variety that he was not present for much of season two, which earned poor reviews compared to the first season. “I really wasn’t involved,” he said. “My involvement in the second season was as much or as little as they needed me. It turns out they didn’t need me.”

When asked directly about that scene, he said, “I have friends on the crew who told me about it. What’s there to make of it?” He would not elaborate further.




Write to Eliana Dockterman at

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