James Cameron responded on Tuesday night to critics who think his blockbuster hit "Avatar" was somehow un-American.
"I've heard people say this film is un-American, while part of being an American is having the freedom to have dissenting ideas," Cameron told the crowd at a private industry screening.
Conservative commentators such as Jonah Goldberg wondered why the space aliens didn't "accepted Jesus Christ into their hearts" and said it was a tired attack on the Iraq War. John Podhoretz said the movie was both "anti-American" and "anti-human." John Nolte, a critic at the conservative Big Hollywood, called it "America-hating."
But Cameron was not shy about the movie's political message, telling TheWrap that he wanted "Avatar" to say something about both foreign policy and the environment.
"This movie reflects that we are living through war," the director said. "There are boots on the ground, troops who I personally believe were sent there under false pretenses, so I hope this will be part of opening our eyes."
"I don't know if there is a political agenda exactly, but as an artist I felt a need to say something about what I saw around me. I think we all need to take stewardship of our planet."
Cameron and star Zoe Saldana also talked about the more technical side of the production.