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Tom Cruise’s Rant to Crewmembers Breaking COVID Safety Rules Divides Internet

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  • 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. 

See what others are saying: (The Sun) (IndieWire) (Variety)

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Chris Pratt Denies Association With Hillsong Church: “I’ve Never Actually Been”

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The church has been accused of having anti-LGBTQ ties, something Pratt has taken a hit for. 


Pratt Addresses Hillsong Controversy 

After several years of facing criticism for his alleged ties to the controversial Hillsong Church, actor Chris Pratt said he has “never actually been” to the church and is “not a religious person.”

The Hillsong Church has been condemned for being anti-LGBTQ. The issue received increased attention in 2019 when actor Elliot Page tweeted, “If you are a famous actor and you belong to an organization that hates a certain group of people, don’t be surprised if someone simply wonders why it’s not addressed.” 

“Being anti LGBTQ is wrong, there aren’t two sides,” he continued.

At the time, Pratt responded to the allegations by saying that “nothing could be further from the truth” and that he believes “everyone is entitled to love who they want.” He doubled down on his denial in a profile published Tuesday in Men’s Health.

 “I never went to Hillsong. I’ve never actually been to Hillsong,” he told the outlet. “I don’t know anyone from that church.”

Instead, Pratt said he attends Zoe Church in Los Angeles, though not exclusively. According to Men’s Health, Zoe Church is not without its issues. The church was founded by a pastor who produced a film that equated “sexual brokeness” to “same-sex attraction.” Other outlets have also described it as a Hillsong affiliate. 

Pratt faced his biggest wave of backlash in 2020 when Internet memes declared him the “worst” Chris compared to other actors with the same first name, including Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, and Chris Pine. A slew of celebrities quickly came to Pratt’s defense, arguing the criticism was unjustifiably mean. Their speedy responses only heightened the online conversation and many of the celebrities who spoke out were eventually mocked for doing so. 

Pratt Says He is Not Religious

As for why the Internet has become increasingly anti-Pratt, his alleged association to Hillsong was a major factor. Some also speculated he was a supporter of Donald Trump as he did not join his “Avengers” co-stars for a Joe Biden fundraiser, though Pratt is not usually politically outspoken in either direction.

Pratt believes the backlash against him started when he gave a speech at the MTV Movie Awards in 2018 where he said, “God is real. God loves you. God wants the best for you.” He understands why those remarks may have rubbed people the wrong way. 

“Maybe it was hubris. For me to stand up on the stage and say the things that I said, I’m not sure I touched anybody,” he told Men’s Health. “Religion has been oppressive as fuck for a long time. I didn’t know that I would kind of become the face of religion when really I’m not a religious person.”

He went on to explain that in his eyes, there is a difference between adhering to certain customs and believing in God versus using God to control and harm people and justify hatred.

“The evil that’s in the heart of every single man has glommed on to the back of religion and come along for the ride,” he said.

See what others are saying: (Men’s Health) (The AV Club) (People)

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Jodie Sweetin Releases Statement After Getting Pushed By Officers at Pro-Choice Protest: “This Will Not Deter Us”

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“Love everyone out there in the streets fighting for what’s right,” she wrote on Instagram.


Actress Pushed at Protest

After viral footage showed Jodie Sweetin getting pushed to the ground by officers with the Los Angeles Police Department while attending a pro-choice protest, the “Full House” actress said demonstraters “will continue fighting” for their rights. 

Sweetin was attending a protest off the 101 freeway on Saturday following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Photojournalist Mike Ade, who captured the video, said the actress was “trying to lead a group of peaceful protestors away from the freeway” when officers pushed her. Sweetin was standing on a curb when she was pushed and fell down on the cement road. Ade wrote that she was “fortunately…okay.”

Ade shared a handful of other videos depicting officers using similar tactics on other protesters. As these videos started circulating online, many became outraged by the LAPD’s response to the protests.

Sweetin Addresses Incident

Following the incident, Sweetin released a statement where she said the fight against the court’s decision is not over. 

“I’m extremely proud of the hundreds of people who showed up yesterday to exercise their First Amendment rights and take immediate action to peacefully protest the giant injustices that have been delivered from our Supreme Court,” Sweetin said. “Our activism will continue until our voices are heard and action is taken. This will not deter us, we will continue fighting for our rights. We are not free until ALL of us are free.”

Sweetin also shared footage of the incident and other clips of officers clashing with protesters on her Instagram story. She cheered protesters in a comment on a video of the push shared by a social justice group called The Progressivists.

“Love everyone out there in the streets fighting for what’s right,” she wrote.

According to a statement obtained by Deadline, the LAPD is looking into the matter. 

“The LAPD is aware of a video clip of a woman being pushed to the ground by officers not allowing the group to enter on foot and overtake the 101 freeway,” the statement said. “The force used will be evaluated against the LAPD’s policy and procedure.”

See what others are saying: (Deadline) (Rolling Stone) (The Hollywood Reporter)

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Dave Chappelle Decides Against Having Former High School’s Theater Named After Him

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“The idea that my name will be turned into an instrument of someone else’s perceived oppression is untenable to me,” the comedian reportedly said.


Theater Named Announced

Comedian Dave Chappelle opted on Monday to not have the theater at his alma mater high school named after him, according to a report from The Washington Post

The Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington D.C. previously planned to name its theater in honor of Chappelle, as he is a distinct alum and donor. While Chappelle formerly said such a gesture would be “the most significant honor of [his] life,” he announced during Monday’s naming ceremony that it would bear a different title. 

The school’s theater will instead be called the Theater for Artistic Freedom and Expression. 

A naming ceremony was initially set to take place in November, but was postponed after the comedian began facing backlash for transphobic jokes in his Netflix special “The Closer.”

Among other things, he said he was “Team TERF,” which stands for trans-exclusionary radical feminist. He also made a joke about Caitlyn Jenner and remarks comparing the genitalia of transgender women to Beyond and Impossible meat.

The jokes embroiled Chappelle in controversy, and reports claimed that some students at Duke Ellington took issue with the comments. When Chappelle ended up visiting the school amid the scandal, Politico reported that one student told the comedian, “I’m 16 and I think you’re childish, you handled it like a child.”

Chappelle Defends Controversial Special 

According to The Post, Chappelle said the criticism against him “sincerely” hurt, but added that “the Ellington Family is my family.” He claimed he did not want the theater being named after him to distract students. 

“The idea that my name will be turned into an instrument of someone else’s perceived oppression is untenable to me,” he said according to Josh Rogin, a columnist for the outlet.

Rogin also tweeted that Chappelle took time out of the ceremony to slam the criticisms levied against him, accusing upset students of promoting someone else’s agenda. 

“These kids didn’t understand that they were instruments of oppression,” he reportedly said. 

“You cannot report on an artist’s work and remove artistic nuance,” Chappelle continued while denouncing the press coverage of his Netflix special. 

According to David Frum, a staff writer for The Atlantic who attended the ceremony, Chappelle suggested he was open to potentially adding his name to the theater at a later date when the community is ready. 

See what others are saying: (The Washington Post) (Variety) (The Atlantic)

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