Although he's known for staging elaborate film productions versus resolving massive environmental crises, James Cameron has been vocal about fixing the BP oil spill that has ravaged the Gulf Coast.
The "Avatar" filmmaker even assembled a team of experts in the field to figure out how to fix the largest oil spill in U.S. history. However, Cameron said that when it came to reviewing the strategy developed by his collective of engineers and scientists, government officials failed to take the plan seriously.
"We worked [on] the problem for a couple of weeks ... and submitted a 25-page report to the Department of Energy and ... to the [U.S.] Coast Guard that said what to do," Cameron told MTV News. "It was promptly ignored by everyone and guess what? At the end of the day, they did exactly what we recommended. I'm not saying they did it because we recommended it. I think they did it because it was the right thing to do. But they basically did exactly what we said should be done."
Cameron said he was motivated to assist the cleanup effort because he felt analysts outside of the oil giant should have a say. "If you're relying on BP for imagery, you're basically relying on the criminal's video of the crime scene," he asserted. Cameron maintained that officials ignored the report because of his status as an entertainment figure.
"I think because BP was giving them a line of sh-- every single day and they were believing it. I also think it's because the source of the report was contaminated in their minds because there was a Hollywood guy involved," Cameron said. "[Officials] tend to shy away from media if they can't control it, which completely obviated the valuable contribution of the other 23 people on the team, who are all the crème de la crème of the deep-submergence community," he said. The filmmaker also noted the irony of the supposed snub: "I put the group together [and] I coordinated with the government agencies. I did all that stuff. At the end of the day, we were probably ignored because I was involved."
Cameron said that when the spill was finally contained, the clean-up crew in charge used methods originally suggested by the his team. The director lamented the delay in fixing the problem.
"The thing is, it was the right answer 60 days ago when we gave them that report," Cameron said. "That means you've got a million gallons a day, times 60 days, pouring into the gulf. [That's] 60 million gallons of oil."
What do you think about James Cameron's approach to the BP oil spill? Do you think he wasn't taken seriously because he's a Hollywood filmmaker? Let us know in the comments below!