Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise’s outburst on the set of Mission: Impossible 7 is totally justified

Cruise was recorded yelling at his crew for not taking health and safety measures seriously on set.

After last night’s leak of an audio recording of Tom Cruise chewing out members of his Mission: Impossible 7 crew for standing too close together, a small army of Cruise haters went to Twitter to condemn his actions. Of course, we get it. The whole Scientology thing doesn’t exactly make Tom Cruise likeable. And of course, angrily yelling at employees (or bosses, or co-workers) in this manner is not just a bad look, it’s bad policy, and bad manners — something we would never condone. But when the lives, long-term health and livelihood of all your co-workers are at risk, can you really blame Cruise for losing it a little?

We don’t need to stress the seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic here. But any industry that is still operating right now, from film to air travel to restaurants serving takeout, is understandably going overboard right now to not get shut down again.

Mission: Impossible 7 is the first major Hollywood blockbuster that began production during the COVID-19 pandemic, and it’s already well known that Cruise has been running a tight ship — two actual ships, some of the time. (He’s also been photographed several times wearing two masks.) In the video, he emphasizes the importance of this production for the industry, and while it may seem grandiose of him to claim that the future of Hollywood and the livelihood of thousands depends on his crew members respecting physical distancing, there’s more than a grain of truth there.

The film already faced a one-week production delay in October when 12 crew members tested positive for COVID-19. But other future blockbusters have fared far worse. The Batman, which picked up its production in September after a five-month delay, famously had to suspend production when its star Robert Pattinson contracted COVID — only three days after returning from lockdown! And this after the film’s dialect coach died of COVID shortly after the lockdown began in March.

Cruise’s concern the industry, while inextricably tied with a more selfish concern for his own career, appears to be genuine. Witness his cheerleading for the release of Christopher Nolan’s Tenet, the film that was supposed to herald the return of blockbusters to theatres, and a film that clearly rivals exactly the type of convoluted action movies that Cruise makes — he would undoubtedly have made a similar video about going to see the new James Bond movie if that had been released on schedule.

So despite the fact that Tom Cruise is an easy target — given his ties to a cult, an apparent death wish in the form of completely insane stunts and that whole chair-jumping thing from Oprah years ago — maybe yelling at people who aren’t taking COVID prevention measures seriously is not the worst thing that happened yesterday. ■

Listen to the full audio here.
Unpopular opinion: Tom Cruise has every right to be pissed off

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