This is a good one.
Many of you have no doubt heard Tom Cruise’s famed COVID rant.
In case you missed it, the star was on set last December and expressed disapproval over crew members standing fewer than 6 feet apart.
The guy, in a word, exploded.
I’ve provided a transcript; consider each pair of brackets substitution for an F-word variant…
“We are the gold standard. They’re back there in Hollywood making movies right now because of us! Because they believe in us and what we’re doing! I’m on the phone with every [darn] studio at night. Insurance companies! Producers! And they’re looking at us and using us to make their movies.
“We are creating thousands of jobs, you [rascals]!
“I don’t ever want to see it again! Ever! And if you don’t do it, you’re fired! If I see you do it again, you’re [by golly] gone. And anyone on this crew does it, that’s it! And you, too! And you, too! And you! Don’t you ever [doggone] do it again! That’s it!
“No apologies. You can tell it to the people that are losing their [ever-lovin’] homes because our industry is shut down. It’s not gonna put food on their table or pay for their college education. That’s what I sleep with every night — the future of this [dadgum] industry! So I’m sorry — I’m beyond your apologies. I have told you, and now I want it. And if you don’t do it, you’re out!
“We are not shutting this [dadblame] movie down!
“Is it understood? If I see it again, you’re [cotton-pickin’] gone. And so are you. So you’re gonna cost him his job. If I see it on the set, you’re gone. And you’re gone. That’s it. Am I clear? Do you understand what I want? Do you understand the responsibility that you have?
“Because I will deal with your reason. And if you can’t be reasonable, and I can’t deal with your logic, you’re fired. That’s it. That is it. I trust you guys to be here. That’s it. That’s it, guys.
“That’s what I’m thinking about. That’s what I’m doing today. I’m talking to Universal, Paramount, Warner Brothers. Movies are going because of us. We shut down, it’s going to cost people their [dagnab] jobs, their homes, their family — that’s what’s happening. All the way down the line. And I care about you guys. But if you’re not going to help me, you’re gone. Okay? Do you see that stick? How many meters is that? When people are standing around a [consarn] computer and hanging out around here, what are you doing?”
It was quite the complaint.
Many online and in media condemned his conduct.
Others found it appropriate in light of the pummeling pandemic.
And now, speaking with Empire Magazine, the actor’s broken his silence on the matter.
His retrospective response to the come-apart is…yep:
“I said what I said. There was a lot at stake at that point. But it wasn’t my entire crew. I had the crew leave the set, and it was just select people.”
He claims he was thinking of others:
“All those emotions were going through my mind. I was thinking about the people I work with, and my industry. And for the whole crew to know that we’d started rolling on a movie was just a huge relief. It was very emotional, I gotta tell you.”
Some might call his behavior that of a bully, and Hollywood’s certainly trying to curb such things.
In fact, as noted by The Hollywood Reporter, Tinseltown’s attempting to aid its powerful few by providing “rage coaches.”
“Some people are missing some of those empathy genes,” says coach Randy Spelling, a former actor and the son of late TV producer Aaron Spelling. “We talk about body language, facial expressions, learning how to gauge what’s happening with other people” https://t.co/VWiXccbGHs
— The Hollywood Reporter (@THR) May 6, 2021
Even so, as for Tom’s non-apology, personally, I salute him.
That’s no endorsement of his on-set style.
But for once, someone in the spotlight does something many don’t like, and they stand by it.
That is to say, they reveal potential authenticity — a rarity in show business and politics.
Of course, if someone believes they’ve done wrong, they should humbly apologize.
But what if they did it initially because it’s simply what they think should be done?
Presently, we live in the age of the mob.
And the mob, generally, has a singular view.
So far as I can tell, prominent people are increasingly conforming to a solitary perspective, a one-dimensional political and social persuasion.
As a result, the landscape of entertainment becomes tragically boring. Those comprising celebritydom come across as non-cognizant carbon copies.
In decades past, some entertainers were Democrat, others Republican. There were candid conservatives and outspoken liberals. Controversial people occupied all sides. There were individuals who thought and spoke differently — true diversity.
As for concerned citizens contemporarily trumpeting that word, it seems it’s the last thing some of them want — or will allow.
And that leads us to the era of the apology. Mea culpas intensify and homogenize as each new atonement appears to employ the same form letter (example: “‘Bachelor’ Host Bites It, Cancel Culture Eats Him: Man Admits He ‘Defended’ Racism and Referenced the ‘Woke Police’“).
You see it again and again — identical word choices. Every repentant release promises “education” as penance for “harm” caused, seemingly no matter what the offense.
Therefore, whatever may be said of Tom Cruise’s behavior on a film set last year, I believe that was genuinely him.
More importantly, I believe the person who isn’t saying he’s sorry now is genuinely him as well.
Personally, I find him an enjoyable actor.
But beyond that — given the stifling state of our cultural affairs — in this case, I enjoy him most of all for at least one instance in which he likely didn’t act at all.
According to what’s right from his own unique understanding, he stood his ground.
As a general principle, that’s something — in my estimation — of which we could use much more.
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