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“It was just the weapon at hand”: James Cameron Nearly Killed Harvey Weinstein After Disgraced Producer Got Abusive With $700M Rich Legendary Director at Oscars

“It was just the weapon at hand”: James Cameron Nearly Killed Harvey Weinstein After Disgraced Producer Got Abusive With $700M Rich Legendary Director at Oscars

James Cameron’s Titanic is widely regarded as one of the best movies ever made. It swept the 1998 Academy Awards and the box office in a way only Cameron would be able to emulate again about a decade later with Avatar. However, not many know that the night Cameron’s movie won the Best Picture Oscar, is also the same night he almost got tangled in a brawl with notorious former Hollywood mogul and now convicted se*ual assaulter, Harvey Weinstein.

James Cameron Almost Hit Harvey Weinstein At The Oscars

James Cameron won the Best Picture Oscar for Titanic
James Cameron won the Best Picture Oscar for Titanic

A recent article by The Hollywood Reporter chronicled the way Titanic began as an underdog and then went on to sweep the 1998 Academy Awards. The site mentioned that Miramax’s co-chairman, Harvey Weinstein, was gunning for the Best Picture award that year and said in an interview with CNN that “If Jim Cameron is saying size matters, then we at Miramax are saying less is more” and to The NY Times said that “It’s a battle. Titanic has great special effects, but in Good Will Hunting, the special effects are the words.”

Ultimately James Cameron won the battle the Oscars night and took home the Best Picture award for Titanic. However, the same night he got into a scuffle with Weinstein because he had treated Guillermo del Toro poorly. As per the Avatar director:

“I didn’t know Harvey from Adam. I didn’t know anything about him other than what I had learned from Guillermo del Toro. Guillermo and I had been close friends since 1991. He had told me the horrible shit that Miramax pulled on him when he made his first American commercial film, Mimic, and they fired him. The actors, led by Mira Sorvino, kind of revolted and wouldn’t work until they brought him back. Then, when the film was successful and well regarded, Harvey sort of jumped up to take praise for the movie.”

Read More: Zoë Saldaña Reveals James Cameron is Fast-Tracking $250M Avatar 3: “Allegedly, that’s coming out in a year”

James Cameron and Guillermo Del Toro
James Cameron and Guillermo Del Toro

Cameron elaborated that Weinstein taking credit for something he had actively tried to sabotage is what lit his fuse. As per the Hollywood director:

“So I’m on my way back to my seat with my editing Oscar, and this guy’s jumping up to introduce himself, saying, ‘If you want to come to work at a place that’s a friend of the artist, a friend of the filmmaker’ — he’s holding his hand out, and I just blew him off. It was just an ugly little moment. But, yeah, I did defend Guillermo and I called Harvey on his bullshit, and then he got very loud and verbally abusive and almost potentially physically violent. And he was about to get clocked by an Oscar — which would’ve been highly appropriate, I think. I think. But I wasn’t thinking about it in those terms; it was just the weapon at hand. “

Cameron said that no one really stopped the two of them from fighting. Everyone just wanted them to take the fight outside and not engage in an all-out brawl at the Academy Awards.

Read More: ‘The 2 guys who saved cinema box office didn’t show up’: Fans Brand Oscars as ‘Irrelevant’ After Tom Cruise, James Cameron Never Show Up to the Event

Harvey Weinstein Behaved Poorly With His Workers 

Harvey Weinstein
Harvey Weinstein

In the article, Cynthia Swartz, who was the Miramax Senior VP of Special Projects back then, said that the company knew that there were some awards they were going to win that year. But she says that Weinstein thought that he could sweep the entire awards show. As per Swartz:

“We knew we’d win other things that year, but he thought we could win the whole thing and made us aggressively campaign against fucking Titanic! He really believed it! He made us work like dogs. That’s my recollection of the year, being like, ‘This is such a fucking pain in the ass.'”

Read More: James Cameron’s Unfair Treatment to Crew Members, Allegedly yelled at Stuntman For Not understanding His Vision in Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Terminator

Apart from Swartz, Lisa Taback, the Miramax Director of Special Events and Publicity back then, said that Weinstein thought he could win every year. However, she knew that no matter how good Good Will Hunting was, Titanic was the one that was taking the 1998 Oscars night. Today, Harvey Weinstein is a convicted r*pist and is serving a 23-year prison sentence in New York and will serve another 16 years in Los Angeles. As for James Cameron, he is busy shooting the sequels to Avatar 2.

Avatar 3 is set for release on 20 December 2024.

Source: THR

Written by Ishita Chatterjee

A literature graduate who loves sharing her views on everything pop-culture and entertainment. Ishita especially loves dreaming about superheroes and comic books when she isn't day dreaming about them everyday either way.