Tom Cruise's rant elicits mixed reactions as Leah Remini, Alec Baldwin and more weigh in

Tom Cruise’s alleged headline-making rant on the set of Mission: Impossible 7 has sparked a debate online — and among his peers.

Earlier this week, Cruise, 58, appeared to berate crew members for breaking COVID-19 safety protocols. “If I see you do it again you’re f****** gone,” he yelled in leaked audio obtained by The Sun. (Multiple outlets confirmed the incident, while Cruise’s rep did not respond to Yahoo Entertainment’s request for comment.)

Cruise quickly became a trending topic on Tuesday as he was applauded by many celebrities for how seriously he’s taking the deadly pandemic.

“He didn’t overreact, it’s a problem,” George Clooney said on Wednesday.

Alec Baldwin defended his former Mission: Impossible co-star. “So he’s pissed off on 1 particular day. “Who f***ing cares?” he tweeted.

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“Tom Cruise is correct here FYI,” wrote Josh Gad. “Sorry/Not sorry.”

“I’ve never liked him more!” added Hilarie Burton Morgan.

Tom Cruise talks with his fans on the set of Mission Impossible 7 in Rome, Italy on Nov. 29, 2020.
Tom Cruise talks with his fans on the set of Mission Impossible 7 in Rome, Italy on Nov. 29, 2020. (Photo: Getty Images)

But according to Leah Remini, there’s a pretty big asterisk that needs to be included in the context of covering Cruise’s supposed blowup, and that’s Scientology. The actor is essentially the face of the controversial religion and Remini, a former Scientologist, laid out her case as to why she thinks this whole thing is a publicity stunt.

In a lengthy statement to Tony Ortega’s The Underground Bunker, the actress called Cruise’s rant “psychotic.”

“This is not a pandemic that Tom and Scientology believe in,” Remini alleged. She claimed Scientologists are taught to think of the COVID-19 pandemic as “a drill invented to make us all react, and Scientologists shouldn’t be reacting to a global pandemic but rather just going on with life as normal in their dedication to Scientology and their daily activities.”

Her claims are strongly refuted by the Church of Scientology.

“The Church of Scientology has done more than any other religious institution in promoting COVID-19 prevention actions — throughout the U.S. and worldwide. Long before ‘stay at home’ directives, the Church took aggressive actions to prevent the spread of the virus. The Church’s leader acted well ahead of the curve,” a spokesperson told Yahoo Entertainment.

According to Remini, however, “Anything you see coming from Scientology and Scientologists, such as mask wearing and supposedly humanitarian efforts, is just a show. It’s for public relations reasons only.

“Tom’s reaction that was released yesterday shows his true personality. He is an abusive person. I witnessed it, I’ve been a recipient of it on a small level, and I’ve been told of similar abuse by his former girlfriend, his employees, and his friends,” she alleged. “This is the real Tom. This was the same reaction Tom gave his household staff when they did not have the right ingredients for him to make chocolate chip cookies. This is the same type of tirade Tom launched into when an assistant had the audacity to serve him a drink in a chipped mug.”

Yahoo Entertainment cannot verify Remini’s claims and an email to Cruise’s rep went unanswered.

Remini alleged Cruise “subscribes to the abusive culture of Scientology” so he doesn’t truly care about the wellbeing of those around him.

“Tom does not care about the families of his crew; this is all for publicity. Tom does not believe in family values. I mean, how anyone is falling for this is just mindblowing. I would bet that Tom had this rant written for him and had his Scientology assistant record and release it,” she claimed. “Hearing a rich actor with enormous power address his crew in this way is a sign of weakness and a deeply troubled person. This is not just a rant of another a****** actor. Tom Cruise pretending that he cares is why a few have called him out.”

Remini added that “this psychotic rant only proves what many who know Tom or have worked for Tom knows: He is an abusive dictator just as he was taught by his guru [Church of Scientology leader] David Miscavige.”

Former Scientologists joined Remini, and others, in their criticism. Mike Rinder claimed Cruise “probably leaked this” himself. (A spokesperson for the Church of Scientology refutes any claims made by Rinder.)

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Cruise’s purported rant was not an isolated incident, according to The Sun. In a new report on Thursday, the tabloid claimed five staffers have quit M:I7 “after a second meltdown by star Tom Cruise.”

The alleged second eruption came on Tuesday night after leaked audio emerged.

“The first outburst was big but things haven’t calmed since. Tension has been building for months and this was the final straw. Since it became public there has been more anger and several staff have walked,” a source claimed to The Sun. “But Tom just can’t take any more after all the lengths they have gone to just to keep filming at all. He’s upset others aren’t taking it as seriously as him. In the end, he’s the one who carries the can.”

Editor’s note: This story was originally published on Dec. 17, 2020 at 5:47 p.m. ET and was updated to include responses by the Church of Scientology.

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