The biggest celebrity headline of the week so far has been the leaked audio of Tom Cruise popping off at crew members on the set of Mission: Impossible 7 in London for violating social distancing protocols. Yesterday in my post about the situation, I wrote that this is the best press Tom’s had in years as early reaction to his tirade was pretty positive and now Captain Hollywood, the hero of the movie business, seems to have the support of Hollywood’s Chairman, George Clooney.
Back in the day, Frank Sinatra was referred to as the Chairman of the Board; these days, it’s George who most closely fits the job description in the industry, with the Oceans Eleven connection and his overall leadership and reputation. George is currently promoting The Midnight Sky and was interviewed by Howard Stern yesterday and asked about Tom. Per E! News:
"He didn't overreact because it is a problem," he told Stern. "I have a friend who's an AD on another TV show who just had the almost exact same thing happen with not quite as far out a response."
That said, while George understands why Tom lost his sh-t, he would have handled it differently:
"I wouldn't have done it that big. I wouldn't have, you know, pulled people out. You're in a position of power and it's tricky, right? You do have a responsibility for everybody else and he's absolutely right about that. And, you know, if the production goes down, a lot of people lose their jobs. People have to understand that and have to be responsible. It's just not my style to, you know, to take everybody to task that way."
But he reiterated that he totally gets Tom’s frustration and that there may have been other factors at play:
"I think it doesn't help necessarily to point to specific people in that way and do it that…but, you know, everybody has their own style. The people who were on that shoot will tell us more about it. I understand why he did it. He's not wrong at all about that. You know, I just, I don't know that I would have done it quite that personally, but I don't know all the circumstances so maybe he had it 10 or 15 times before."
Duana and I will be covering the Show Your Work angle of this the latest episode of the podcast, and specifically how shouting at people affects workplace culture, so the point I want to make here is the same as the one I made yesterday – which is that this leaked audio is a brand enhancer for Tom… and perhaps everything beyond Hollywood that Tom is associated with. Like not just his movies. He’s coming out like a crusader for the industry, which is exactly the role he wants to play. Will it lead to a resurgence in popularity?
In my post yesterday, I wrote about how Scientology informs Tom’s behaviour, his approach to life. And that you cannot separate Scientology from the behaviour that he displayed on that tape. The best person to explain this would be a former Scientologist – and Leah Remini has made a lengthy statement explaining the Church’s position on illness and why people get sick; according to her:
“All Scientologists believe that if they aren’t connected to what they label “suppressive persons” they will not get sick.”
She then goes on to describe, in great detail, what she sees as the motivation behind Tom’s Captain Hollywood performance. Remember, Leah’s won multiple Emmy Awards for her documentaries exposing the Church. Emmys are voted on by the television industry. How is the industry reacting to Tom this week? Will they remember what they learned from Leah? Or has Captain Hollywood saved the day?
EXCLUSIVE: @LeahRemini sent us this statement about Tom Cruiseâ€™s on-set rant that was caught on tape and released by the Sun yesterday. She puts it in its #Scientology context and also in light of the abusive behavior she's seen from Cruise over many years.— Tony Ortega (@TonyOrtega94) December 16, 2020