LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - “Avatar” director James Cameron lashed out at Glenn Beck at a press conference Tuesday, offering to debate the Fox News personality on environmental and political issues.
Asked what he thought about Beck during a junket appearance in support of the “Avatar” home-video release, Cameron said: “Glenn Beck is a f---ing asshole. I’ve met him. He called me the anti-Christ, and not about ‘Avatar.’ He hadn’t even seen ‘Avatar’ yet. I don’t know if he has seen it.”
Cameron apparently was referring to Beck’s reaction to his 2007 documentary, “The Lost Tomb of Jesus,” which casts doubt on the resurrection of Jesus Christ and makes the case that the ancient Tomb of the Ten Ossuaries belonged to Jesus’ family.
While working for CNN, Beck teed up an on-air interview with Cameron with the following comment, according to a CNN transcript: “Many people believe James Cameron officially has tossed his hat in the ring today and is officially running for anti-Christ.”
After blasting Beck, Cameron, surrounded by journalists inside a West Hollywood hillside mansion, seemed to reconsider: “I think, you know what, he may or may not be an asshole, but he certainly is dangerous, and I’d love to have a dialogue with him.”
What makes Beck dangerous, The Hollywood Reporter asked Cameron at the junket. “He’s dangerous because his ideas are poisonous,” Cameron answered. “I couldn’t believe when he was on CNN. I thought, what happened to CNN? Who is this guy? Who is this madman? And then of course he wound up on Fox News, which is where he belongs, I guess.”
Asked if he felt the right wing’s attacks against him were continuing, Cameron replied: “They’re not attacks. They’re just people ranting away, lost in their little bubbles of reality, steeped in their own hatred, their own fear and hatred. That’s where it all comes from. Let’s just call it out. Let’s have a public discussion. That’s what movies are supposed to do, you know. You can have a mindless entertainment film that doesn’t affect anybody. I wasn’t interested in that.”
The “Avatar” director was equally unsparing in his comments about those who don’t accept global warming as fact.
“I want to call those deniers out into the street at high noon and shoot it out with those boneheads,” Cameron said. Turning more serious, he added: “Anybody that is a global-warming denier at this point in time has got their head so deeply up their ass I‘m not sure they could hear me.”
By making the environment the theme of his home video release plan, Cameron is sending a message. ”Look, at this point I‘m less interested in making money for the movie and more interested in saving the world that my children are going to inhabit. How about that? I mean look, I didn’t make this movie with these strong environmental anti-war themes in it to make friends on the right, you know.
“They’re not on my Christmas card list,” Cameron added. “It’s not going to change my lifestyle at all if they don’t talk to me. But you know they’ve got to live in this world too. And their children do as well, so they’re going to have to be answerable to this at some point.”
20th Century Fox had gathered almost 100 journalists from around the world for a press junket that included a screening of four video clips from the movie to show the quality of the conversion. Cameron and “Avatar” producer Jon Landau opened the program by pledging an environmental theme to the release of “Avatar” into the home video market, which is set for April 22, Earth Day.