02/07/2009 AT 04:45 PM EST
Though Christian Bale himself called his F-bomb outburst on the Terminator Salvation set
"inexcusable," the film's director is coming to the star's defense.
"The film set is a passionate place, and it happens," McG told fans at a Warner Bros. preview panel at New York Comic Con on Saturday. "There was no version of, 'Oh, Christian is going to whip his ass.' It was just sort of a blowup,"
"We let it run its course, and it did. You obviously only get to hear the explicit parts," he said.
Bale verbally bashed the film's director of photography, Shane Hurlbut, after he accidentally entered the actor's sight lines during filming.
The audiotape quickly went viral
, sparking mixed reactions, but the on-set drama ended that day, McG insists.
"Christian has taken responsibility for the way he acted. It's a matter of fact that he and Shane are buddies. We finished the movie together. We did some additional photography about a month ago," he told the packed auditorium at Manhattan's Jacob Javits Center.
"It was just one of those moments. I think I can speak on all of our behalf that we've all gotten a little fired up. And if anybody would take that moment and take it out of context, it would seem very, very strange."
The director is getting a bit of a chuckle out of it, though, admitting he's seen some of the online fodder. "That remix is pretty hot," McG said to uproarious applause.