Was Tom Cruise’s Covid Rant Justified?

Frankie Fouganthin, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Tom Cruise made headlines this week for yelling at crew members on the set of Mission Impossible 7, which is filming in the UK. To some, this made him a hero; to others, an insensitive hothead.

Why Did Tom Cruise Get Mad?

Tom got upset when he observed two crew members failing to observe social distancing guidelines to stop the spread of covid-19. In audio leaked to British newspaper The Sun, Tom was heard saying, “If I see you do it again, you’re f—ing gone. And if anyone in this crew does it, that’s it.”

Apparently, he saw a group of individuals crowded around a computer.

Tom also yelled “I’m on the phone with every f—ing studio at night, insurance companies, producers!” – highlighting how hard it’s been to get the film industry working again amid the coronavirus pandemic.

He seems to be aware of how quickly the Mission Impossible 7 shoot could get shut down. In the last week, Disney+ series Big Shot and NBC series Mr. Mayor both had to halt production because of positive covid-19 tests.

Why Some Are Cheering Him

It’s admittedly refreshing to hear a person in power taking the covid-19 pandemic seriously. The virus is surging around the world even as film and TV productions resume. Case counts are higher than ever.

When we see businesses and even top people in government dismiss covid-19 concerns, it makes us feel undervalued, even crazy. At least Tom gets it, right? He’s trying to keep everyone safe, and he’s trying to preserve everyone’s jobs. Maybe we should have MORE Tom Cruises out in the world.

https://twitter.com/laurenthehough/status/1339015596726509569

“He didn’t overreact because it is a problem,” actor George Clooney said on Howard Stern’s show. “I have a friend who’s an AD [Assistant Director] on another TV show who just had the almost exact same thing happen with not quite as far out a response.”

Why Some Are Criticizing Him

But some fans and fellow stars felt that Tom could have handled the situation better. Standing around the computer sounds like an innocent, accidental thing that crew members did in the course of trying to get their jobs done. It’s not as though everyone was sharing food or refusing to wear masks.

Even Clooney admitted that Tom could have struck a different tone.

“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.”

George Clooney

People who have worked on film crews also weighed in:

https://twitter.com/TheEmilyBlake/status/1339005014493163523

They also pointed out that film crews now require a Covid Compliance Officer. Perhaps this person should have been the one to step in.

https://twitter.com/TheEmilyBlake/status/1339054105176653830

Tom Cruise’s Mask Problem

Some have also questioned if Tom is really that concerned about others’ safety.

First, he’s been photographed wearing a mask with valves – the kind that the CDC has explicitly said NOT to wear. The valves release particles from the person wearing it, endangering others nearby.

He as also been seen talking to co-star Hayley Atwell while she was wearing her mask down below her nose – though perhaps he holds actors to different standards since they get tested frequently and perform with their masks off.

And then of course there’s the Scientology of it all:

https://twitter.com/yashar/status/1339000807925039104

In The Industry