James Cameron praises Eliza Dushku
James Cameron has praised “brave” Eliza Dushku for speaking out about allegedly being molested while filming ‘True Lies’.
The 37-year-old actress recently claimed she was assaulted by the 1994 movie’s stunt co-ordinator, Joel Kramer, when she was just 12 years old, and the film’s director insists he would have shown “no mercy” if he’d known about the alleged incident.
Asked about Eliza’s claims - which Kramer has branded “atrocious lies” - at the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour, he said: “I haven’t given a lot of thought to this specific situation because I just heard about. Obviously, Eliza is very brave for speaking up. I think all the women are that are speaking up and calling for a reckoning now. I think this has been endemic throughout human systems, not just Hollywood. “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. Bravo for them for doing it and I’m glad Eliza did that. It’s just heartbreaking that it happened to her...
“Directors are historically pretty oblivious to the interpersonal things that are happening on their set because they’re focused and are the worst offenders at being focused on ‘What I’m doing creatively.’
“Had I known about it, there would have been no mercy. Now especially, I have daughters. There’s really no mercy now.”
The ‘Titanic’ director thinks it is important that all workplaces make a “safe avenue” to allow people to speak up without “shame”, and thinks Hollywood is in a position to lead the way.
He added: “I know the other party [Joel Kramer] -- not well, he hasn’t worked for me since then.
“The fact that this was happening under our noses and we didn’t know about it -- I think going forward, it’s important for all industries, certainly in Hollywood to create a safe avenue for people to speak up. That they feel safe. And that anybody who might be a predator or abuser knows that that mechanism is there and that it’s encouraged [that victims come forward] and there’s no shame around it and that there will be consequences [for the perpetrators].
“I think we all collectively as a human race -- I don’t think this is a Hollywood; Hollywood is in a unique position to actually shine spotlight, as Hollywood has historically done on a lot of social issues. It’s one of the things that we do and do well.
“This is a great moment in history that’s unfortunately founded on personal tragedies that have occurred for so many of these women. This is not a reckoning for Hollywood or America; this is reckoning for the human race.
“This s**t has been going on since day one. So whenever there’s a male in a position power who has 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 that would otherwise go down that path back from the brink.
“A lot of it has to come from a lack of empathy. That they’re clearly not feeling what this is going to mean for this person further down the line.
“The psychological consequences have to be understood. 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 to prevent it.”
In an open letter on her social media account, Eliza claimed she was “groomed” by the stunt expert for months before going to his hotel room, where he “rubbed” his near-naked body against her.
She also alleged she was left with broken ribs after a stunt went wrong, shortly after a “strong adult” friend confronted Kramer about her allegations.
But the stunt co-ordinator insists her claims are not true.