After making a few sex jokes about Matt Damon and his "two-hander" performance in "Behind the Candelabra," Michael Douglas used his Emmys acceptance speech to thank his wife, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and to mention his son, Cameron, currently serving a 10-year prison sentence for dealing and using heroine.
"My oldest son, Cameron, I'm hoping I'll be able and they'll allow me to see him soon," he said onstage Sunday night.
When reporters later asked him to clarify his sentiment, the 68-year-old actor explained the separation and went on to criticize the nation's incarceration system.
"Well, my son is in federal prison based upon -- he's been a drug addict for a large part of his life and was arrested and selling drugs and is in federal prison," Douglas told the press backstage at the Emmys. "And part of their punishments if you happen to have a slip -- this is for a prisoner who is nonviolent -- as about a half a million of our drug addicted prisoners are, they punish you. So for my son's case, he's spent almost two years in solitary confinement and right now I'm being told that I cannot see him for two years."
"It's over a year now and I'm questioning the system. Obviously, at first, I was certainly disappointed with my son, but I've reached a point now where I'm very very disappointed with the system and, as you can see, from what [U.S.] Attorney General Eric Holder has been doing -- and other issues regarding our prison system -- I think things are going to be revived regarding nonviolent drug addicts/criminals. My last comment on that is the United States represents five percent of the world's population and we have 25 percent of the world's prisoners."
Cameron echoed his father's sentiments in a Huffington Post op-ed he wrote from prison back in June.
"Our prisons are filled with non-violent drug offenders who are losing much of what is relevant in life. This outdated system pays little, if any, concern to the disease of addiction, and instead punishes it more harshly than many violent crimes," Cameron wrote.
In April, Cameron lost an appeal to have his sentenced reduced.