True Lies director James Cameron called Eliza Dushku "brave" for coming forward about her experiences of being sexually assaulted by the movie's stunt coordinator, Joel Kramer when she was 12-years old. Cameron answered questions about Dushku's revelations during his Television Critics Association press event Saturday for his upcoming AMC series James Cameron's Story of Science Fiction. Eliza Dushku says that she was sexually assaulted by Joel Kramer multiple times during the course of filming True Lies when he was 36 and she was 12-years old.
James Cameron told reporters at the Television Critics Association's winter meetings that he'd only learned about Eliza Dushku's accusations on Facebook a few hours earlier. According to Deadline, the director was visibly shaken by the news and spoke out about the abuse in Hollywood. He had this to say.
"Eliza is very brave for speaking up. It's just heartbreaking that it happened to her. I mean, I know the party. Not well, he hasn't worked for me since then. The fact (is) that this happened under our noses, and we didn't know about it..."
Cameron then added that as a director, he is often oblivious to what happens on set behind-the-scenes. But adds that had he known, there would have been "no mercy." He explains.
"Directors are historically oblivious to the interpersonal things that are happening on their set. Had I known about it, there would have been no mercy."
James Cameron then went on to speak about all of the allegations of sexual misconduct in Hollywood and the world at large that has recently come to light. The director called it a "reckoning" for the "human race," not just the entertainment industry. Cameron also stated that this behavior has been happening in Hollywood since "day one." He had this to say.
"This has been endemic throughout human systems, not just Hollywood. I'm glad Eliza did that...This is not a reckoning for Hollywood. This is not a reckoning for America. This is a reckoning for the human race. This sh!t has been going on since day one, you know. So whenever there's a male in a position of power and he's got a piece missing and doesn't understand the consequences of what he's doing and maybe out of this can come some education that can pull some men who would otherwise go down that path back from the brink."
James Cameron said he hoped the industry would put in preventive practices to stop the issues in the future. However, some have criticized his words for giving himself a "pass" for being "oblivious" for what was happening during the production of True Lies. Eliza Dushku did not say anything bad about the director, but did say that stunt coordinator Joel Kramer would openly call her "jail bait" on the set for everyone around to hear. While he more than likely didn't know of Kramer's actions, others around the set were certainly aware of the incidents.
Eliza Dushku has spoken out against her abuser, Joel Kramer, and he denies all of the allegations, calling them all "lies." Kramer also claims that he's going to get a lawyer to sue Dushku for defamation. Whatever the case may be, another disgusting story of child abuse has come to the surface in Hollywood and one has to wonder why this is all able to happen quietly behind the scenes and kept secret. You can read more about what James Cameron had to say about Eliza Dushku coming forward to share her story of childhood sexual assault via Deadline.