Scientology rules!!!(GIF via GIPHY)
Look, I'm all for enforcing strict rules regarding COVID-19 on the set of movies, but Tom Cruise's epic tirade over two crew members standing too close together is appalling.
In leaked audio from The Sun UK, the Scientologist — who has long had a demonstrable God complex — rips new assholes for everyone in earshot, screaming:
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 fucking 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 motherfuckers! I don't ever wanna see it again — ever! And if you don't do it, you're fired, and if I see you do it again, you're fucking gone! And anyone on this crew does it, that's it! And you, too! And you, too! And you — don't you ever fucking do it again! That's it! No apologies! You can tell it to the people who are losing their fucking 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! And the future of this fucking industry! So, I'm sorry, I am 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 fucking movie down! Is it understood? If I see it again, you're fucking gone, and so are you, so you're gonna cost him your 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 think about. That's what I'm doing today. I'm talking to Universal, Paramount, Warner Bros. Movies are going because of us. We shut down, it's gonna cost people fucking jobs, their homes — that's what's happening, all the way down the line. I care about you guys, but if you're not gonna help me, you're gone. Okay? Now you see that stick, how many meters is that? People are standing around the fucking computer and hanging out around here — what are you doing?!
This outburst will strike people two different ways: Wow, he really cares about keeping people safe from COVID-19! is one.
But the way it strikes me is as a diminutive titan worth the better part of a billion dollars spending over three minutes shrieking at subordinates about an arguably minor infraction that he could have called out in 10 seconds. He could have had a brief outburst and handled the rest in private. He could have fired the rule-breaker on the spot. Instead, he lorded his power over everyone beneath him, and attempted to infuse in them the sick sense of entitlement and destiny he has about himself.
Make no mistake — the most important line he shouted was:
We are not shutting this fucking movie down!
It's all about him and his career. Period.
Last thoughts: I would love for Nicole Kidman to debut on Twitter with a tweet that reads, “See?” Also, I wish someone on the crew — after Tom asked, “Am I clear?”— had cut in with, “If you're not clear by now, dianetics sucks, huh?”