Taking to the podium Sunday night to accept his Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries for his performance in HBO's Behind the Candelabra, the Oscar winner gave a nod in his acceptance speech to his incarcerated son who is currently serving a 10-year prison sentence in a federal pen in Pennsylvania for dealing and possessing heroin.
"My oldest son, Cameron, I'm hoping I'll be able and they'll allow me to see him soon," an emotional Douglas said about the 34-year-old, his only child with first wife, Diandra Douglas.
Later while speaking to reporters backstage, the 68-year-old actor elaborated on what he was trying to say that has left him with a heavy heart.
"My son is in federal prison. He's been a drug addict for a large part of his life. Part of the punishments—if you happen to have a slip, and this is for a prisoner who is nonviolent, as about a half-million of our drug-addicted prisoners are—he's spent almost two years in solitary confinement and right now I'm being told that I cannot see him for two years," noted Douglas.
He continued: "It's been over a year now. And I'm questioning the system. Obviously at first, I was certainly disappointed in my son. But I've reached a point now where I'm very disappointed with the system."
The Wall Street star also reiterated the American justice system's penchant for locking up nonviolent offenders, noting the U.S. "represents 5 percent of the world's population and we have has 25 percent of the world's prisoners."
As for his screen legend dad, Douglas turned up at last night's ceremony without Catherine Zeta-Jones, but he did thank his estranged wife from the stage.
The couple is taking a temporary break.
And to that end, Catherine made her first public appearance Sunday night on the opposite side of the globe since news of their separation became public when she attended a star-studded event in China's Shandong province to announce the launch of a new $5 billion film studio.