Plenty of people found something to praise among the Sun-released audio of Tom Cruise yelling at his Mission: Impossible crew for COVID-19 safety violations. While some were quick to point out problems with how Cruise delivered the remarks, the general consensus seemed to be that it was kind of nice to hear someone taking the pandemic seriously.
Former fellow Church of Scientology member Leah Remini—who was pointedly critical of Cruise and open about her experiences in his orbit in her 2015 memoir Troublemaker—has a much different take. In a post on journalist Tony Ortega's Scientology-monitoring Underground Bunker site, Remini said the allegedly leaked audio is "all for publicity" and does not represent Cruise's actual stance on health concerns.
"I mean, how anyone is falling for this is just mindblowing," Remini said. "I would bet that Tom had this rant written for him and had his Scientology assistant record and release it. 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 asshole actor. Tom Cruise pretending that he cares is why a few have called him out. They know this is a publicity stunt, they know what Tom really is and what Tom really believes."
Elsewhere in the extended piece, Remini claimed Scientologists at large engage in campaigns like this "for public relations reasons only." Remini also connected this Cruise moment to a drill she says is used in Scientology called "bullbaiting." According to Remini, the Church of Scientology believes the pandemic is a drill crafted to make everyone react.
In a memo back in March, per the Daily Beast and Ortega, Scientology leader David Miscavige referred to the pandemic as the "latest planetary bullbait" and "a blip in an epic Whole Track drama."
At any rate, Mission: Impossible movies will proceed. The seventh and eight entries in the Cruise-centered franchise will arrive in 2021 and 2022, respectively.