James Cameron reveals why he 'almost hit Harvey Weinstein with his Oscar' at 1998 ceremony
At this point, the number of sexual assault, harassment and misconduct charges levelled at movie producer Harvey Weinstein is stupendous. Not only have over 80 women accused him of such misdeeds, but the response to this news gave many the confidence to speak about their own mistreatment in the film industry, with other public figures in the entertainment industry such as Kevin Spacey and Louis C.K. facing similar allegations.
While there are many others who have been implicated, Weinstein's name has remained at the top of the list, which only makes the following story more satisfying...
1998 was a big year for James Cameron, the director behind such movies as The Terminator, Aliens, and Avatar. His blockbuster romance Titanic hit cinemas, becoming one of the most profitable and beloved films of all time. When it came time for the Academy Awards that year, the movie ended up bagging eleven awards in total, including Best Director for Cameron. He was so elated that he infamously yelled during his acceptance speech "I'm the king of the world!"
But that didn't stop the evening turning sour at one point, when he came across Harvey Weinstein. In fact, almost immediately the pair almost got into a fight. Luckily for them, the cameras weren't rolling. Cameron was being interviewed by Vanity Fair recently when he was asked what he remembered from "the night that Titanic won the Oscars". Likely taking the interviewer by surprise, he replied: "I remember almost getting in a fight with Harvey Weinstein and hitting him with my Oscar".
"It was happening on the main floor at the [theater] . . . And the music had started to play to get back in our seats. The people around us were saying, “Not here! Not here!” Like it was okay to fight in the parking lot, you know, but it was not okay there when the music was playing, and they were about to go live."
He then goes into exactly why the fight started up in the first place, and it turned out it had to do with the way the Miramax co-founder had treated Cameron's friend and fellow director, Guillermo Del Toro - who had worked on the film Mimic with Weinstein the year before.
"It’s kind of a long story, but it has to do with Guillermo del Toro and how badly he was dealt with by Miramax on Mimic," the director explained. "Harvey came up glad-handing me, talking about how great they were for the artist, and I just read him chapter and verse about how great I thought he was for the artist based on my friend’s experience, and that led to an altercation."
Del Toro, who is known for directing films such as Pan's Labyrinth, Pacific Rim and Crimson Peak, recently alluded to his troubles with Weinstein after screening his new movie The Shape of Water at the BFI London Film Festival. "Two horrible things happened in the late nineties, my father was kidnapped and I worked with the Weinsteins, he told the crowd. "I know which one was worse... the kidnapping made more sense, I knew what they wanted".
While it's all well and good to say you've won an Oscar, it's an even better story to say you nearly hit Harvey Weinstein with it.