PETA Goes After 'Avatar' Director for Making Comment About Dolphins While Promoting Movie


People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) took issue with a comment made by director James Cameron while promoting his current movie.

While in Japan, Cameron held a press conference to promote “Avatar: The Way of Water.”

“Welcome to Pandora!” Cameron said during the opening of his remarks.

As scenes of the movie played on a screen, a stunt performer was seen performing stunts with a dolphin.

“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,” Cameron said.

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He added, “And I’m sure everybody asked their permission to be in the show.”

PETA was not happy with the remark, tweeting, “Honestly, [Jim Cameron]? No, no one asked the dolphin’s permission to be in the show.”

The organization was not the only one to criticize Cameron.

Does Cameron deserve the criticism?

Richard “Ric” O’Barry, founder of Dolphin Project, penned a letter to Cameron and the movie crew.

“To watch this particular group of filmmakers, whom I greatly admire and respect, applaud captive dolphins performing tricks in a tiny pool absolutely floored me. I was hoping it was a mistake. It wasn’t, but it was a brutal wake up call,” O’Barry wrote.

He continued, “The clapping really got to me. It wasn’t just James Cameron. Everyone clapped. Everyone was amused and entertained: Jon Landau, Zoe Saldaña, Sam Worthington, Sigourney Weaver, and Stephen Lang.”

O’Barry explained watching the video of the event left him “feeling completely hopeless and betrayed. It made me question everything we have been doing. Still does.”

The letter suggested the title of the movie is “the silver lining in all this.”

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He added, “For isn’t the way of water both gentle and strong, with water making up 90% of our blood plasma? Perhaps too, it’s within our biological make-up to understand that water, and what depends on it, is sacred and a birthright amongst all creatures, including dolphins and other whales.”

Concluding the letter, O’Barry called on the crew of the film to join his organization’s team in Japan.

“I’d like to personally show them where the dolphins that entertained them so well most likely came from. I’d like to show them exactly how dolphins are captured in Japan. I’d like to show them that trainers who purport to care for dolphins work alongside those that brutally slaughter dolphins. I’m sure, once they witness this first-hand, they will never applaud another dolphin show again,” O’Barry wrote.

Variety reported the film made its debut at the international box office, raking in $15.8 million.

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