James Cameron slammed for holding Avatar 2 press conference at a dolphin show
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James Cameron has been criticised for holding a press conference for Avatar: The Way of Water at a dolphin show.
The famed director took part in the event at an animal centre in Tokyo, as part of the Japanese leg of the promotional tour for the new movie.
Sitting beside Zoe Saldaña, Sam Worthington, Sigourney Weaver, and Stephen Lang and Jon Landau, the 68-year-old watched as dolphins performed in the pool below.
Introducing the show, Cameron said, 'Welcome to Pandora', referencing the fictional world he created in the film franchise.
In footage from the event, the dolphins, who were brought into the pool by their trainers, are seen performing tricks, with the actors looking on.
Following the show, Cameron, who is a vegan, joked: "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.
"And I'm sure everybody asked their permission to be in the show."
However, the writer has now come in for some criticism from animal rights activists, who say that he should not have held the press conference at the dolphin show.
Speaking to Plant Based News, a spokesperson for PETA said they were disappointed by Cameron's actions.
They said: "James Cameron waited 13 years for the development of the right technology to bring the underwater world of Pandora to life.
"So why on Earth didn't he pause for just five minutes to consider whether he should have allowed himself to be seen as endorsing the cruelty of marine parks?'
"Confining far-ranging dolphins to concrete tanks and using them as surfboards – riding on their faces in circus-style shows – is something the villains of Avatar would do.
"PETA urges him to reject such animal misery outright and encourages everyone to shun these cruel parks."
Another activist added: "James Cameron, as a high profile environmentalist, should never associate himself with the captivity of dolphins.
"Dolphin shows are cruel, not conservation."
UNILAD has contacted James Cameron's representatives for comment.
Avatar: The Way of Water is set to be released on 16 December.
Topics: Film & TV, Film and TV, Entertainment, US News, Animal Cruelty, Animals