James Cameron has spoken out amid Eliza Dushku’s claims that she was molested on the set of his 1994 film, True Lies, and says if he had known, “there would have been no mercy.”
While speaking at a Television Critics Association event in Pasadena, California, on Saturday, January 13, Cameron addressed the allegations by saying, “I haven’t given a lot of thought to this specific situation, I just heard about it. But obviously, Eliza is very brave for speaking up and I think all the women who are speaking up and calling for a reckoning now. I think that has been an endemic through human systems, not just Hollywood, but because Hollywood deals with women who are victims 10, 15, 20 years ago who are famous today, so they get to have a louder voice when they come forward. So bravo to them for doing it. And I am glad Eliza did that.”
“It’s just heartbreaking that it happened to her. And I know the other party. Not well, he hasn’t worked for me since then. But the fact that this was happening under our noses and we didn’t know about, I think going forward it’s important for all industries, certainly Hollywood, to create a safe avenue for people to speak up. That they feel safe, and that anyone that might be a predator or an abuser knows that the mechanism is there and it’s encouraged and that there is no shame around it and that there will be consequences,” the filmmaker, 63, continued. “I don’t think this is a Hollywood problem, I think that Hollywood is in a unique position of shining a spotlight on it, as Hollywood has done on a lot of social issues. It’s one of the things we do and do well.”
Cameron also stated that he hopes that victims coming forward educates the predators: “So, whenever there is a male in a position of power, who’s got a piece missing and doesn’t understand the consequences of what he’s doing, maybe out of this can come some education that can pull some men who would otherwise be on the path back from the brink as well. Because I think a lot of it has to come [from] some kind of lack of empathy, that they’re clearly not feeling what this is going to mean for this person further down the line. I think the psychological consequences have to be understood. So hopefully we’ll be making films about this stuff and we’ll put something in place as industry practice, to do as much as we can for them.”
He also noted that although most directors are usually focused on their work rather than “interpersonal things” that are happening on set, he stated, “But had I known about there would have been no mercy. I have daughters. There really would be no mercy now.”
As previously reported, the Buffy the Vampire Slayer alum claimed in a lengthy Facebook post on Saturday, January 13, that stuntman Joel Kramer, then 36, sexually assaulted her when she was working on True Lies.
Kramer, 60, later denied the allegations in an interview with Us Weekly, saying, “This is all vile lies. I never molested this young woman, ever. Who in their right mind would do that and then still work with someone another six months or seven months or however long we had left to work together, wouldn’t that be a little weird?”
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