- In an audio clip obtained by The Sun, actor Tom Cruise can be heard yelling at crewmembers on the set of “Mission: Impossible 7” for not following COVID-19 guidelines. Cruise said their guidelines are a “gold standard” for Hollywood and that the industry as a whole could be impacted by this film.
- In the over three-minute clip, Cruise says, “They’re back there in Hollywood making movies right now because of us!…You can tell it to the people that are losing their fucking homes because our industry is shut down…That’s what I sleep with every night. The future of this fucking industry.”
- The clip sparked debate online, as some thought it was completely unjustifiable and inappropriate for Cruise to yell at people on set in this way.
- Others agreed with him and found catharsis in a powerful figure taking COVID-19 and the economic devastation it has caused seriously, especially since the pandemic has left thousands in the field without work.
Tom Cruise’s Rant Goes Viral
“Mission: Impossible” star Tom Cruise yelled at crewmembers who were not following coronavirus guidelines on the set of the seventh installment of the film series, according to now-viral audio featuring an expletive-laden rant that has drawn both praise and criticism online.
The over three-minute clip was obtained and published first by The Sun on Monday and other major outlets have since confirmed its validity. It is unclear when exactly Cruise lashed out, but The Sun says it happened after two crewmembers were standing close to each other while looking at a computer. This violates the social distancing rules for the production, which is currently taking place in the United Kingdom.
With a raised voice and colorful vocabulary, Cruise did not mince words when he told those workers that if they were to break the rules again, they would be let go from the set. He said that “Mission: Impossible 7” should serve as the “gold standard” for Hollywood right now and claimed that the success of the industry as a whole is riding on the success of this movie.
“They’re back there in Hollywood making movies right now because of us! Because they believe in us and what we’re doing!” Cruise said. “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.”
“You can tell it to the people that are losing their fucking homes because our industry is shut down,” he added. “It’s not going to put food on their table or pay for their college education.”
The pandemic first caused production of the movie to shut down in February while filming was taking place in Italy. It picked up again in September, filming in Italy, Norway and the U.K. Reports indicate it had to briefly pause in October because of a positive case.
According to The Sun, Cruise has been taking safety precautions seriously and wears a mask on set. He is allegedly trying to prevent future shutdowns and is on the constant lookout for anyone who might bend the rules.
“That’s what I sleep with every night. The future of this fucking industry… We are not shutting this fucking movie down,” he continued.
“If I see it again you’re fucking gone, and you are, so you’re going to cost him his job. If I see it on the set you’re gone and you’re gone.”
Internet Reacts to Rant
This is far from the first time Cruise — one of Hollywood’s most bankable and controversial stars — has lost his temper, but this rant struck a chord with those who found his anger to be cathartic, as well as those who thought it was out of line.
“I understand that we are in a pandemic and the stakes, both physically and professionally, are high, but that outburst is not OK.,” wrote NPR’s Aisha Harris. “You can translate the urgency of your message without going full-on Bale.”
Daily Beast writer Marlow Stern published a piece titled: “Stop Praising Tom Cruise for Berating His Crew.”
“The Hollywood superstar — and leading Scientologist — was merely punching down and putting on a show,” Stern wrote.
The piece then dove into an in-depth exploration of his relationship with the Church of Scientology, the disturbing actions Cruise has possibly okayed, and the power dynamics within the system. Through that lense, as well as the intensity of his rant, it argues that both his tirade and any attempt to defend it are unjustifiable.
Others, including those who may not necessarily support Cruise or his ties to the Church, admired his frustration. While many powerful and wealthy people seem to not understand the loss and economic hardship people have suffered throughout the pandemic, Cruise expressed that he did and that he wanted to be part of putting that suffering to an end.
“I don’t like rich people yelling at people who are less powerful than they are and I’m not wild about him in general, BUT if you’re going to yell at people, make it about something worthwhile,” wrote NPR writer and host Linda Holmes.
“His message is effective at being both self-interested (I don’t want us to shut this movie down) and community-minded (people are counting on us),” she added. “And weirdly, I think finding that balance in public messaging has been hard.”
“Tom Cruise is right and he should say it,” said Vanity Fair writer Joanna Robinson.
Others said that Cruise should deliver this speech to anti-maskers. Some also thought this kind of anger should be a more standard response to those who break safety protocols right now.
“If only more people saw the bigger picture that Tom is highlighting here,” wrote critic and podcaster John Rocha.
COVID Impact on Film Industry
That big picture is striking. In the U.S. alone, 300,000 people have died from COVID-19. Even more people have suffered from joblessness and other financial hardships because of the pandemic.
Over 19 million people in the United States are receiving some kind of unemployment benefits. The entertainment industry was among the many fields hit hard by the coronavirus, though estimations on how many people were impacted vary. According to the LA Times, in California alone, 284,000 creative jobs were lost in the pandemic. This includes jobs in entertainment, digital media and art, and fashion. The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees estimates that around 120,000 jobs in Hollywood have been lost by members of their union.
Productions are resuming, but many have to shut down due to outbreaks on set. Filming for “Batman” halted when star Robert Pattinson tested positive, Olivia Wilde’s latest flick starring Harry Styles was forced to shut down, and Aubrey Plaza recently revealed that while filming “Happiest Season,” Kristen Stewart and several others caught coronavirus, leading to a pause. The same issue has occurred for television productions. The sets of “The Flash,” “The Witcher,” “Mr. Mayor” and two separate Real Housewives franchises have had to close because of COVID-19 cases, and the list goes on.
The idea that the virus is spreading on sets means that less people will be hired to work on them so crews can remain smaller. It also means that studios might send fewer projects into production right now, meaning the mass unemployment will only last longer.
The pandemic has put the entertainment in a vulnerable and fragile place for many reasons.
Since employment in film is rare right now, some in the industry supported Cruise’s choice to lash out against those who took it for granted.
“Anyone lucky enough to be working right now who can’t follow safety guidelines is spitting in the face of ALL the colleagues who have been unemployed since March, had to sell their homes, move back in with their parents etc,” wrote actor Roger Clark.
Netflix Reinstates Employee Who Crashed Director-Level Meeting After Criticizing Dave Chapelle
Terra Field had publicly accused Chappelle of making transphobic remarks in his new stand-up special “The Closer” just days before she was suspended.
Netflix Reinstates Terra Field
Netflix reinstated a transgender employee who was critical of Dave Chappelle’s new stand-up special after suspending her for attending a director-level meeting without an invitation.
Terra Field tweeted on Tuesday that she was reinstated once the company determined “there was no ill-intent in” her decision to attend the meeting.
“I’m going to take a few days off to decompress and try to figure out where I’m at,” she added. “At the very least, I feel vindicated.”
Field also shared an email Netflix sent her regarding her suspension being lifted.
“Our investigation did not find that you joined the QBR meeting with any ill intent and that you genuinely didn’t think there was anything wrong with seeking access to this meeting,” the email said. “Additionally, when a Director shared the link it further supported that this was a meeting you could attend.”
Field’s suspension came just days after she tweeted a viral thread criticizing Chappelle’s latest program on Netflix, “The Closer.” She was one of many activists who claimed Chappelle’s set was transphobic and encouraged Netflix to take action. Field wrote that his comments attacked “the very validity of transness.” Netflix insisted those tweets had nothing to do with her suspension.
Field reportedly attended the director-level meeting with two other employees who were also suspended. A spokesperson for Netflix told Deadline that those two staffers have likewise been reinstated and the company “will be distributing broader guidance about meetings and clarifying which are for which people.”
Netflix’s Response to Dave Chappelle Controversy
Netflix, for its part, has defended Chappelle and rejected calls to remove “The Closer” from the streaming service.
“It never feels good when people are hurting, especially our colleagues,” Netflix co-CEO Ted Srandos wrote in an internal memo. “You should also be aware that some talent may join third parties in asking us to remove the show in the coming days, which we are not going to do.”
“We don’t allow titles on Netflix that are designed to incite hate or violence, and we don’t believe The Closer crosses that line,” he added. “I recognize, however, that distinguishing between commentary and harm is hard, especially with stand-up comedy which exists to push boundaries. Some people find the art of stand-up to be mean spirited but our members enjoy it, and it’s an important part of our content offering.”
Among other things, Chappelle took time in his special to defend author J.K. Rowling, who previously faced backlash over a series of transphobic remarks she made. Chappelle said he agreed with Rowling.
“I’m team TERF,” he added. “I agree. I agree, man. Gender is a fact.”
Chappelle went on to make jokes about Caitlyn Jenner before comparing the genitalia of transgender women to Beyond and Impossible meat.
Many employees at Netflix are still frustrated with the way the platform has handled the controversy surrounding “The Closer.” According to The Verge, a trans employee resource group is planning a walkout on Oct. 20.
“Trans Lives Matter. Trans Rights Matter,” the group said in a memo. “And as an organization, Netflix has continually failed to show deep care in our mission to Entertain the World by repeatedly releasing content that harms the Trans community and continually failing to create content that represents and uplifts Trans content. We can and must do better!”
See what others are saying: (The Verge) (Deadline) (The New York Times)
Lil Nas X and Bella Poarch May Have Abandoned Plans To Participate In TikTok NFT Program
Lil Nas X’s TikTok NFT was scheduled to debut a week ago and is still not available to the public.
Creators Allegedly Leave TikTok’s NFT Program
Musicians Lil Nas X and Bella Poarch may have quietly exited TikTok’s new NFT collection, according to a report from Rolling Stone.
TikTok first announced the line, which is called “TikTok Top Moments,” at the end of September. It involves a series of creator-led NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, which are unique and tradeable digital assets. TikTok’s NFTs can be purchased with the cryptocurrency Ethereum. According to a press release, the money will “largely go directly to the creators and NFT artists involved.”
TikTok said that creators like Poarch, Lil Nas X, Grimes, Curtis Roach, Brittany Broski, and more would be participating in the program. The company called NFTs an “empowerment tool” that will allow these creators to “be recognized and rewarded for their content.” It planned to debut the collection on Oct. 6 with Lil Nas X’s NFT, but that token has still not been made available. A source told Rolling Stone that it may never be released.
NFT Rollout Described as “A Mess”
The outlet also reported that Poarch is “actively contemplating pulling out of the program due to worries about its execution.” According to Rolling Stone, three sources familiar with the rollout of the program have described it as “a challenge,” “a mess,” and “a complete joke.”
Those sources claimed that in order to secure Poarch’s initial participation, TikTok offered her marketing support worth potentially $4 million for her next release. The company also allegedly promised to use one of her songs in an end-of-year campaign. A spokesperson for TikTok, however, described these claims as “not accurate.”
Neither Poarch nor Lil Nas X has commented on their participation yet. Meanwhile, TikTok declined to answer Rolling Stone’s questions about the status of their NFTs.
Some of TikTok’s announced NFTs have gone public, though. Throughout Tuesday, Roach’s “Bored in the House” video was up for auction on the platform Immutable.
NFTs took the internet by storm in early 2021, but their popularity peaked in May and declined throughout the summer. Celebrities, tech moguls, and everyday people featured in viral memes have hopped on the trend and made millions doing so.
According to Rolling Stone, TikTok has valued some of its own NFTs at $1 million. Now, it’s unclear if those tokens will ever hit the market.
See what others are saying: (Rolling Stone) (Dexerto)
Ariana Grande, Bella Hadid, and Others Honor World Mental Health Day
A slew of stars acknowledged the day by sharing personal stories and making hefty donations to organizations that offer mental health resources.
Celebrities Donate to Mental Health Organizations
Major celebrities honored World Mental Health Day on Sunday by speaking candidly about their mental health struggles and donating to nonprofits.
Singer Ariana Grande announced that she is donating $5 million worth of free therapy through the online counseling platform Better Help. The star previously partnered with the company over the summer to give $1 million in therapy to fans and opted to throw more money at the program following its success.
“I acknowledge that there are very real barriers when it comes to accessing mental health resources, and while this is only one small gesture (and a much larger systemic problem remains) I wanted to do this again with @betterhelp in hopes of bringing access to a few more people and perhaps inspiring a few of you to try something new and prioritize your own healing,” Grande wrote on Instagram.
Those interested can sign up for a free first month of Better Help and get an additional 15% off the second month.
Model Bella Hadid also pledged to donate to mental health resources. She teamed up with the beverage company Kin Euphorics, which will donate 10% of its October sales to Gurls Talk, a nonprofit that gives adolescent girls a space to talk about mental health, along with various educational tools to aid those discussions. Hadid will match those donations.
“Dealing with mental illness for most of my life, bringing awareness to the education of mental health through my platform is something that I will continue to do until our mental is just as respected as our physical,” Hadid wrote. “I want everyone who struggles daily to know that you are not alone.”
Stars Share Resources and Personal Stories
Meanwhile, actress and singer Selena Gomez used her new makeup brand Rare Beauty to share statistics about the prevalence of mental illness and the efforts to combat it. The company, which has previously focused on several mental health initiatives, shared that just 1.3% of philanthropic investments go towards supporting mental health.
The company additionally cited information from an American Psychological Association report, which revealed that young people are particularly vulnerable to mental health struggles. It found that seven out of 10 Gen Z adults are more likely to report experiencing depression symptoms compared to other generations.
Gomez shared Rare Beauty’s post to her own story as well.
Singer Olivia Rodrigo similarly opened up about mental health and therapy during an interview with CBS that aired Sunday. In it, she said she has been in therapy since she was 16, which she believes has helped her both personally and professionally.
“That was a really big, life-changing moment,” she said. “I’ve learned so much about myself.”
“I think there’s sometimes a stigma around it, too, like I was saying,” the singer continued. “Sometimes people are like, ‘Oh, you don’t need that. You have so much. Your life is so great. What are your problems?’ I think that’s definitely a thing that sometimes older people can do to younger people to kind of trivialize what they’re going through.”