James Cameron Makes Tone Deaf Comments Conflicting With Premise Of His Highly Anticipated Movie


Leena Nasir Entertainment Reporter
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James Cameron is under fire for making tone deaf comments while promoting his movie “Avatar: The Way of Water.”

The famous director kicked off a press conference in Japan by saying, “Welcome to Pandora” followed by an awkward silence that he tried to fill with a “Hey!” Cameron’s comments cued a live performance by a dolphin in a pool located in front of the elevated platform from which he made the announcement.

Cameron sat and watched as a domesticated dolphin performed stunts with a stunt person in the water while scenes from the upcoming film “Avatar: The Way of Water” played on a screen behind him.

The director praised the performing dolphins, saying, “I love these animals. I love their intelligence. I love their sociability, their ability to connect with us and to interact with us and learn from us.”

But then he really stuck his foot in his mouth. “And I’m sure everybody asked their permission to be in the show,” Cameron said, referring to the dolphins.

“Honestly, @JimCameron? No, no one asked the dolphin’s permission to be in the show,” animal rights group PETA tweeted.

The legendary director was seated alongside stars Zoe Saldaña, Sam Worthington, Sigourney Weaver and others when he made the comment.

Cameron’s “Avatar” sequel reportedly has a plot that emphasizes conserving the ocean and its resources, which doesn’t align at all with this dolphin display and the bizarre comments he made during the press conference.(RELATED: ‘We’re Working On It Still’: Producer Teases Johnny Depp’s Possible Return To ‘Pirates Of The Caribbean’)


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Cameron was slammed by critics on social media, and activist Richard O’Barry, who worked to expose Japanese dolphin hunting in the 2009 documentary “The Cove,” spoke out about the bizarre and highly inappropriate spectacle. O’Barry lashed out at Cameron on Instagram, saying the award-winning director “used to be” his hero.

“A promotional video for the new Avatar movie stopped me in my tracks. I just caught the end of the video where the performing dolphins did their final trick,” O’Barry wrote.  “And now I’m watching my hero applaud the pathetic dolphin show he just participated in and apparently enjoyed—why else would one applaud? I have no doubt the dolphins have a connection to the bloody cove, in Taiji, Japan,” Cameron said.

Louie Psihoyos, who directed “The Cove,” also directed the pro-vegan 2018 documentary “Game Changers,” which Cameron executive produced.

Cameron has not issued a public statement following the backlash.