The increasingly villainized BP has made a new enemy: James Cameron. The Oscar-winning Avatar director, "an aquatic gearhead with more than 2,500 hours logged underwater [who owns his own fleet of submersibles and ocean-ready robots" famously offered BP his help last month, but was politely rebuffed. So unconvinced is Cameron by BP's response to the spill that he brought together more than 20 scientists, engineers and federal officials in Washington on Tuesday to brainstorm a new solution ("I know a lot of smart people who regularly work a whole lot deeper than that well," he commented) and has said, of BP's execs: "Those morons don't know what they're doing." Could Cameron succeed where BP has (so far) failed, or is he just an intrusive blowhard? (Watch James Cameron suggest he can help solve the BP spill)
This is real life, James, not Hollywood: Cameron's credentials are basically that he "directed a movie about a maritime crisis, once," says Maureen O'Connor at Gawker. So it's not exactly shocking that BP didn't take him up on his offer. This oil spill is a real problem. You can't just "soak it up with bloated egos."
"James Cameron in outraged that BP doesn't want his oil spill advice"
Actually, Cameron is an expert on deep-sea technology: Cameron does have "some bona fides," says Steven Zeitchik at the L.A. Times. As part of his work filming underwater documentaries, he helped develop "the kind of deep-sea equipment that may have a shot of solving the problem." Why shouldn't a "tech-head like Cameron" be part of the discussion? He "certainly can't do worse than Top Kill."
"Is James Cameron a messiah? Or just an everyday hero?"
But he's far from the only 'expert' being ignored: BP isn't just snubbing James Cameron, report Pat Wechsler and John Lauerman at Business Week. The oil giant has received nearly 35,000 ideas through its online suggestion box on how to clean up the spill. "So far, only four have made it into testing." Companies that "specialize in oil clean-up products" are "frustrated" by the lack of engagment with their industry. "Guys, we're right here," says one. "We can do this."
"BP suggestion box frustrating companies, not Cameron, Costner"
SEE MORE OF THE WEEK'S COVERAGE OF JAMES CAMERON:
• 10 most arrogant James Cameron moments