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Earlier this week an audio recording was dropped online that purported to present actor Tom Cruise laying into a pair of the crew of Mission: Impossible 7 who were apparently not following the appropriate social distancing guidelines on the set. Since the audio was leaked we've heard a lot of different responses to the clip. Some have been supportive, some have bee critical, and a large number have been hilarious. It seems that basically everybody has an opinion on the tape, and that includes other Hollywood stars. Actor and director George Clooney has now weighed in on the topic, and his opinion on Cruise's response runs the gamut.
Appearing on The Howard Stern Show (via E!), George Clooney told the host that while Tom Cruise's response to the situation may have been loud and full of swear words, he doesn't consider it an overreaction, because the situation is serious, and what appears to have happened on the set of Mission: Impossible 7 is something that is also happening elsewhere in Hollywood. Clooney explained...
He didn't overreact because it is a problem. I have a friend who's an AD on another TV show who just had the almost exact same thing happen with not quite as far out a response.
According to the initial report, a pair of crew members on the set of the new Mission: Impossible movie were standing too close to each other in front of a computer monitor, and this set off Tom Cruise, who gets very loud as he reads them the riot act for potentially putting the shoot at risk. At one point he talks about how much people in the industry are struggling due to the pandemic, and thus following safety guidelines is key. He then follows that by threatening to fire anybody who does not follow the rules.
Many have championed Tom Cruise, believing that not enough people are taking the pandemic seriously, and so seeing somebody of Cruise's fame doing so is good. At the same time, many people have taken issue with the particular method that Cruise used. There's a feeling that screaming and swearing was not the best way to get a point across, even if the point was valid, and that somebody in Cruise's position threatening the jobs of those who don't have his power sends the wrong message. George Clooney, certainly understands that perspective, and while he might have agreed with what Cruise said, he says he would not have handled the situation that way...
I wouldn't have done it that big. I wouldn't have, you know, pulled people out. You're in a position of power and it's tricky, right? You do have a responsibility for everybody else and he's absolutely right about that. And, you know, if the production goes down, a lot of people lose their jobs. People have to understand that and have to be responsible. It's just not my style to, you know, to take everybody to task that way. I understand why he did it. He's not wrong at all about that. You know, I just, I don't know that I would have done it quite that personally, but I don't know all the circumstances so maybe he had it 10 or 15 times before.
George Clooney does point out the possibility that while the audio we've heard is isolated, it's possible that the incident was not. If there had been a pattern of crewmembers not following the rules, it could be that Tom Cruise just lost his temper after having other, calmer, conversations previously. Cruise himself has yet to speak publicly since the audio was released, but one assumes he'll explain himself before too long.