On Tuesday word broke that Tom Cruise had blown up on two crew members on the set of the seventh Mission: Impossible, tearing into them with an epic, profanity-strewn tirade. But it wasn’t some diva move. Cruise was furious that he caught two people not obeying social distancing, at a time when movie production has hesitantly come back while dealing with a still rampaging pandemic. Social media doesn’t always have the sometimes controversial movie star’s back. But this time they did.
Still, Cruise really let them have it. After it was first reported by The Sun (then confirmed by Variety), audio eventually leaked, and you could hear him start around 11, then keep up that intensity for almost 2 ½ minutes. (And the audio is incomplete, so who knows how long it really went.) After catching the crew members not obeying strict COVID-19 safety precautions — when multiple productions have had to go on pause after outbreaks, including Mission: Impossible 7, which began filming before the pandemic — Cruise tore into them.
“I’m on the phone with every f*cking studio at night, insurance companies, producers and they’re looking at us and using us to make their movies,” Cruise yelled. He continued:
“We are creating thousands of jobs, you motherf*ckers. I don’t ever want to see it again. Ever!” He stressed that the industry was in real trouble. You can tell it to the people who are losing their f*cking homes because our industry is shut down … It’s not going to put food on their table or pay for their college education. That’s what I sleep with every night – the future of this f*cking industry!”
He tried to calm down a bit, apologizing for being so angry. But he ultimately stood his ground. “I have told you, and now I want it, and if you don’t do it, you’re out. We are not shutting this f*cking movie down! Is it understood?” he told them. “If I see it again, you’re f*cking gone.”
This wasn’t a typical leaked audio of some movie star mistreating lowly crew members. Cruise was righteous in his anger. And people online were on his side.
— Jarett Wieselman (@JarettSays) December 15, 2020
THIS. IS. GODDAMN. BEAUTIFUL.
I wish MORE people in charge would react like this to people who violate protocols or not wearing masks. If only more people saw the bigger picture that Tom is highlighting here.
— John Rocha (@TheRochaSays) December 16, 2020
I loved Tom Cruise since I first saw RISKY BUSINESS opening night in 1983. Listening to this…I love him even more now. https://t.co/uYJxWl88mz
— Robert Meyer Burnett (@BurnettRM) December 16, 2020
Wow. This audio is amazing. It's like Tom Cruise is giving the entire world a lesson in the stakes of not abiding by COVID-19 guidelines: https://t.co/vp3fFXeEfC
— Michael Barbaro (@mikiebarb) December 16, 2020
Some asked if he could come back to America, the land of the mask skeptics.
Tom Cruise ain't wrong. Now he just needs to come back to America and yell at every single anti-masker. https://t.co/TLQSnbXZ0R
— Dennis Tzeng (@ThinkHero) December 16, 2020
Soon the words “Good for Tom” was trending.
Good for Tom. The Maskless need a stern and long lasting reminder pic.twitter.com/u11iMCmuf5
— Kraftman’s Lawyer (@CheeseyPrince) December 16, 2020
Good for Tom! He’s my freakin hero for this! https://t.co/UpWTNFgLtU
— Chad Lowe (@ichadlowe) December 16, 2020
He’s not wrong, way to many people out there not taking this virus seriously, and innocent people are paying the price for their arrogance. Good for Tom https://t.co/diTDq3zurj
— rich c (@jeepinginpa) December 16, 2020
Some did wrestle with some of Cruise’s other beliefs.
I’m someone who can separate my personal feelings about Scientology and Tom Cruise‘s involvement in it and the fact that he is absolutely right about how important it is to maintain Covid protocols on the few productions that are shooting right now.
Jobs & lives depend on it! https://t.co/k8YiT1U5gt
— Lisa Guerrero 💃🏽t (@4lisaguerrero) December 16, 2020
Others compared and contrasted him with another high-profile case of a movie blowing up on a crew member: the one in 2009 in which Christian Bale infamously over-reacted to a crew member accidentally causing him to blow a take on Terminator: Salvation. In that case, the public did not side with the actor.
Tom Cruise went fucking HARDDD…but not in a douche bag Christian Bale kind of way…in a “We are trying to save this industry” kind of way
— Caleb Williams (@KnightGambit) December 16, 2020
It’s like the Christian Bale rant but better :) pic.twitter.com/fpaLMoGZWr
— Kevin L. Lee (@Klee_FilmReview) December 16, 2020
Others thought maybe Cruise and Bale should team up.
I need a film where Christian Bale and Tom Cruise yell at each other pic.twitter.com/zxOu2OxbQp
— BluRay𝔸ngel 🎄 (@BluRayAngel) December 16, 2020
And it made some think of past movies where Cruise gets very upset.
Does this mean we've now seen (or heard) Tom Cruise "very upset?" pic.twitter.com/U8lAyy6qUo
— Scott Mendelson (@ScottMendelson) December 16, 2020
— K.L. Brown, CEO of Sweat Box (@sweatboxprogram) December 16, 2020
In any case, consider this the opposite of the notorious “couch jumping” scandal — which, incidentally was mostly taken out-of-context anyway, leading to an undeserving backlash — from the mid-aughts. This was one Tom Cruise outburst that made people like him even more.