PASADENA, Calif. — Director James Cameron applauded actress Eliza Dushku for coming forward with allegations she was molested on one of his films but says "there would have been no mercy" if he had been aware of the incident.
Dushku, 37, said in a Facebook post Saturday that stunt coordinator Joel Kramer —whose job was to ensure her safety — molested her during production of Cameron's 1994 film True Lies when she was 12, after luring her to his Miami hotel room. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jamie Lee Curtis starred in the hit film
"Directors are historically pretty oblivious to the interpersonal things happening on their set, (and) I was focused on what I was doing creatively. Had I known about it, there would have been no mercy," he told the Television Critics Association Saturday, where he promoted AMC Visionaries: James Cameron's Stories of Science Fiction, due April 30.
"Eliza is very brave for speaking up, and I think (so are) all the women are that are speaking up and calling for a reckoning.
"I know the other party," he said in an apparent reference to Kramer, "not well; he hasn’t worked for me since then." But Cameron said he regretted "the fact that this was happening under our noses and we didn’t know about it."
How to ensure it doesn't happen again? "It's important to create a safe avenue for speaking up," he said, so that "anybody who might be a predator or abuser knows that mechanism is there, and there will be consequences."
But Cameron said he doesn't see sexual harassment or assault as "a Hollywood problem, Hollywood is in a unique position of shining a spotlight on it," because prominent accusers are famous, even if they weren't at the time they were victims.
"It's not a reckoning for Hollywood, it's not a reckoning for America. It’s a reckoning for the human race. This (expletive)'s been happening for a long time."