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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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Joe Rogan Holds Spot As Top Podcaster on Spotify in 2022

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Earlier this year, some threatened to boycott the platform over Rogan and the health misinformation he shared on his show. 


For the third year in a row, “The Joe Rogan Experience” was the number one podcast on Spotify, the company revealed in its yearly “Wrapped” feature on Wednesday. 

“The Joe Rogan Experience” became exclusive to Spotify in 2020 after the host signed a lucrative deal with the audio streaming platform. “Call Her Daddy” by Alex Cooper, also a Spotify exclusive, followed Rogan on the charts. “Anything Goes With Emma Chamberlain,” which will become exclusive to the service next year, came in third.

Rogan’s podcast has made several headlines over the last year as the podcaster faced backlash from medical professionals and major musicians for touting COVID-19 misinformation. Niel Young asked to have his music removed from Spotify in protest of the company’s deal with Rogan, and several other artists soon followed. 

Just a few days later, several clips resurfaced of Rogan using a racial slur. Many called to boycott Spotify for platforming Rogan, but his popularity did not seem to fade by the year’s end. 

There are over four million podcasts available to stream on Spotify and over the last year, the platform has expanded into new markets. 

It also has started launching podcasts from several high-profile figures, including Kim Kardashian’s “The System,” and Meghan Markle’s “Archetypes.” Both of those debuted mid-year and did not crack the annual top-five list.

See what others are saying: (Spotify) (Variety) (Forbes)

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Comedian Gives David Beckham Ultimatum: Exit Role at Qatar World Cup Or £10K in Donations Gets Shredded

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“Not just the money, but also your status as a gay icon will be shredded,” Joe Lycett said in a video.


Pressure on Beckham

Comedian Joe Lycett posted a video on Sunday saying he would shred £10,000 if soccer star David Beckham does not pull out of his deal to be an ambassador for the Qatar World Cup. 

Ahead of the event, which kicks off on Nov. 20, many have been raising concerns about human rights abuses in Qatar. The country criminalizes homosexuality, and it can be punishable by death. 

Beckham’s deal to represent the country was reportedly worth £10 million, and many are frustrated that the athlete took such a big check from a country with known anti-LGBTQ laws. In his video, Lycett noted that Beckham has been openly supportive of his gay fans and was the first premiere footballer to do a photoshoot with a gay magazine. 

In an attempt to get Beckham to bow out of his role, Lycett, who is pansexual, offered an ultimatum.  

“If you end your relationship with Qatar, I’ll donate this £10,000 of my own money, that’s a grand for every million you’re reportedly getting, to charities that support queer people in football,” he stated. “However, if you do not, at midday next Sunday, I will throw this money into a shredder.” 

“Not just the money, but also your status as a gay icon will be shredded.” 

Beckham’s Reputation “Shredded”

Lycett said he would livestream the money shredding if that’s what the situation comes to. If Beckham does not back out of the World Cup, Lycett noted he will be forced to “commit what might be a crime,” as destroying legal tender is against the law in the U.K.

“Although even then, I reckon I’ll get off more lightly than I would if I got caught whacking off a lad in Doha,” Lycett quipped.

Lycett then linked to a website titled https://benderslikebeckham.com/, which includes a written version of his message, as well as a countdown to when he will either shred the cash or send it to a non-profit. 

Lycett is not the only U.K star to raise concerns about issues in Qatar. Singer Dua Lipa shut down speculation that she would be performing at the World Cup over the weekend by saying she has no intentions to visit the country until “it has fulfilled all the human rights pledges it made when it won the right to host” the event. 

Other stars, however, including BTS’s Jung Kook, are slated to take the stage. 

See what others are saying: (CNN) (The Hollywood Reporter) (BBC News)

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Federal Judge Dismisses Dave Portnoy’s Lawsuit Against Insider

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The online personality called the decision “disappointing” but not “overly surprising.” 


Lawsuit Tossed

A federal judge in Massachusetts dismissed a defamation lawsuit Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy filed against Business Insider, several outlets reported on Monday. 

According to a report from The Washington Post, Chief Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV decided that Portnoy did not successfully prove that the news outlet acted with “actual malice” or “reckless disregard for the truth” when it published two articles about his sexual relationships. 

The first article, published in Nov. 2021, detailed stories from women who said they had “violent” and traumatizing sex with Portnoy. A second piece was published in Feb. 2022 and includes sources who said Portnoy filmed sexual encounters without consent.

Portnoy has repeatedly denied the allegations and maintained that the sexual encounters were consensual and positive. He sued Insider in February following the publication of the second article. 

Per The Post, Saylor tossed the complaint because it did “not allege that Insider’s anonymous sources were fake, or that the articles misrepresented what the women told [Insider’s reporters].”

“Furthermore, plaintiff admits that Insider investigated its first article for months, requested an interview with him, sought his comment before publication, included his denials, and hyperlinked to his news conference and his lawyer’s full denial letter,” the judge’s decision continued. 

Saylor also noted that Insider corroborated their sources’ claims with photos, texts, medical reports, receipts, and accounts from their friends. 

While Portnoy argued that these stories were an invasion of privacy as they pertained to his private sex life and the women involved were not his employees, Insider held that their claims were relevant.

“When a rich, famous, and powerful person uses their power in a way that is harmful to other people, it is newsworthy,” Nicholas Carlson, Insider’s Global Editor-in-Chief, previously wrote in an editor’s note. 

Saylor largely agreed with that, saying that issues of consent and power are part of “legitimate public interest,” including in instances that arise outside “the employment context.”

Portnoy Responds

An Insider spokesperson told The Post that the outlet is “pleased and gratified that the judge dismissed his complaint.”

“We knew from the start that our reporting was careful, fair, and accurate, but it’s gratifying to see that validated in court,” Julia Black, one of the reporters named in the lawsuit, tweeted in response to the news. 

For his part, however, Portnoy has criticized the judge’s decision, calling it “disappointing” but not “overly surprising.” 

“Every single lawyer said it was an uphill battle, every legal expert said it was an uphill battle, that it’s almost impossible for a public figure to prove defamation,” he said in a video posted to Twitter. “The laws are stacked against me.”

Portnoy said that he turned in texts and other evidence he believed would prove the sexual encounters were positive but claimed “the judge didn’t even really look at the evidence.” 

He later read an excerpt from the judge’s decision that said Portnoy “can’t seek to prove actual malice by challenging statements that defendants did not publish.” 

“In other words: Business Insider did not publish any of my shit, I can’t talk about it, it’s not part of the case,” Portnoy explained. “It’s inadmissible.” 

He said he could appeal the decision if he wanted, but added he was not optimistic about how that would turn out for him. He floated the idea of suing the sources themselves, noting he thinks he would stand a better chance in such a case.

See what others are saying: (The Washington Post) (The New York Post)

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