LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 06: Director James Cameron attends the "Avatar: The Way Of Water" World Premiere at Odeon Luxe Leicester Square on December 06, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)
Movies - TV
James Cameron Regrets Getting 'Carried Away' With A Grim Titanic Scene
Content Warning
The following story contains discussions of suicide.
In “Titanic,” First Officer William Murdoch fatally shoots a passenger in a moment of panic, becomes filled with regret and despair, and shoots himself in the head. Murdoch's descendants maintain that he would not have shot himself, especially while there were still lives to be saved. Director James Cameron chose Murdoch in the scene for dramatic effect, which he now regrets.
In a 2017 interview, Cameron admitted he was a bit irresponsible when creating “Titanic,” saying, “I got a little carried away with the narrative and was not sensitive to the impact that it might have had on the families. And this is the responsibility that one carries when you're making [...] a big docudrama because you're telling the story of something that really happened.”
Following the movie's release, residents of Murdoch's hometown in Scotland called on Cameron to apologize for the portrayal. In 2004, Cameron obliged, “I have come to the realization that it was probably wrong to portray a specific person, in this case First Officer Murdoch, as the one who fired the weapon. [He] has a family and they took exception to that, and I think rightly so.”