Tom Cruise is getting a deal from the media. Raw? I think not. Ask Jane Fonda who has long since repented her Hanoi Jane days. She’ll explain that he’s going about things all wrong. Martin Sheen can speak to it also, as a guy who has gotten arrested for his choices. One involved protesting at a little camp set up by the United States to train South American fighters.
Yes, Cruise should be honored for his masterful performances, even if he wasn’t the brains behind Mission Impossible, as he has claimed recently. Tom, there was a whole lot of TV shows before you took over the idea as your own. And no, don’t go around saying you created the Internet. Someone else other than the real creators has already laid claim to that fake coup.
Here’s the problem: Tom started getting mouthy. Yeah, yeah, as a citizen he has every right to give his opinions, and he can write a check to any cause or campaign he wants. What he can’t do, without taking the same lumps as other public figures outside of Hollyweird, is interject himself into political and religious fights expecting to shrink back behind his coat of many colors. It don’t work that way.
Way back in the ’70s, The Moody Blues came out with a song called “Just a Singer in a Rock and Roll Band” which speaks to this subject directly. It came out around the time a lot of rock stars were being asked to back up political ideologies. The Moody Blues asked the question-What makes you think we know anything about this stuff or that we want to. The idea is that you are either a master of your craft, as Tom has been saying since his first appearance on Oprah, and rightly so…or, you’re a Jack of All Trades. This is where Tom started taking hits.
When South Park was to air the unpopular (depending on how you look at it) episode featuring Scientology, Tom put pressure on the studio, threatening to renige on promoting the movie he had just finished and committed to. He went from being concerned citizen to a thug holding a company hostage. I was raised Catholic, and the stuff that goes on in South Park makes me cringe. I act within parameters, like everyone else. When I go beyond that, I risk the consequence. Oh, and in my first major magazine article, I recounted how the Church of Scientology’s leaders had been nabbed by the Feds. It was just the facts. They were in prison at the time I had written the article. Still, the Church started threatening lawsuits with me which I knew was a distinct possibility. The leaders were in prison for, among other things, concocting a scheme against a freelance reporter who had written something they didn’t like. I figured they’d come looking for me. So, tell me why Cruise should be held to a different standard than me? I did what I did within the scope of my job. The things he has done, are not within the scope of being an actor. I’m ahead of him there. Still, I took the heat So, the answer is a big, NO.
Get beyond the views and look at the behavior. His interview was Matt Lauer was plain loopey. Should he get special treatment because he looked good in his tidy whities in Risky Business? Okay, bad example, but you know what I mean. He looked crazy on that show. He acted bizarre. Others in that position (Michael Richards recently and James Brown every time he has opened his mouth in the last 30 years or so) are talked about the SAME way. When Cruise publicizes his movies, he’s graded on different terms. When he speaks to social, medical, religious and political items, he’ll get judged just like everyone else.
When he speaks to the success of his career, good for him. When he goes on national TV to talk about Brooks Shields’ medical issues, he better be prepared for the wrath that would overtake any other average citizen for doing the same. He doesn’t get a pass for being cute.
He stepped out from the entourage and started voicing opinions, most of which were highly unpopular. Again, he has every right. David Duke has taken a lot of hits over the years for his views. Darwin? Not too popular with a lot of people. When Cruise puts himself into a different venue, he will get treated as “just plain folks” with opinions that will be scrutinized. Harsh? Hardly. Typical? Absolutely.
He’s a big boy. He’ll either take the heat or decide the fights are too big for him.
In the meantime, if Tom comes over, I’d advise you to put the plastic covers back on your sofa. He isn’t inside trained just yet.