Friday, August 25, 2006

Paramount Pictures Fires Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise

vs Paramount

or Is Sumner Redstone Behind Pluto's Demotion From Planet to Just a Dwarf Ball?
by Maggie Van Ostrand

What's up with America? In the last few years, we've seen sponsored efforts to tear down all our heroes from Thomas Jefferson (he owned slaves, but so did everyone of wealth back then in our dark ages) to Abe Lincoln (he must be gay because he slept in the same bed as his male friend; besides Gore Vidal said so), the Boy Scouts (shouldn't be limited to boys. Huh? What?), the Catholic Church (molestation, gaiety, and manly nuns), cops (torturing suspects), forest rangers (setting fires), teachers (fooling around with kid students), Mel Gibson (soused and scornful), even God (remove His name from our courts, our money, and our lips). Note how TV censors cut out the word God and leave in the word "damn."

And now, another blow -- Tom Cruise (effusive Scientologist).

Once upon a time in America, a person could freely express his or her religious convictions publicly if he or she chose to. Though that wasn't particularly smart, since politics and religion can be such inflammatory topics, it was certainly a freedom.

Why is Tom Cruise any different?

Why is it perceived as scandalous if he shows monumental enthusiasm by jumping up and down or doing anything else that he feels like doing? Though for the rest of us there's not been too much going on in the world in the last five years to jump up and down about, why pick on Tom Cruise?

Paramount Studios has severed a 14-year highly profitable relationship ($2.5 billion, that's with a "b") with Tom Cruise and business partner Paula Wagner's Cruise/Wagner Productions. Those billions would be in U.S. dollars, the dollars that still say God on them.

The reason given? Sumner Redstone, chairman of Viacom which owns Paramount Studios and everything else in the world that's not in your safe deposit box, said, "As much as we like him personally, we thought it was wrong to renew the deal. His recent conduct has not been acceptable to Paramount."

Recent conduct? Tom Cruise's ratcheted-up enthusiasm for his religion? This is America?

As if that's not bad enough, nasty tabloid and magazine covers intimate that there's something wrong with Tom and Katie Holmes' baby girl, Suri, because they haven't submitted photos of their baby as have other media-sucking celebrities. The press is practically suggesting the baby must be a throwback to Joseph Merrick, the Elephant Man. One writer even suggests Katie was never pregnant, that she had a pillow under her dress. This is America?

So it's okay if a celeb takes his own baby's photo and sells it for a million bucks to the tabloids, but not okay if Tom Cruise just doesn't wish to have photos published. Isn't that his right? Tom's getting it even worse than Michael Jackson, who covers the heads of his children with diaphanous cloth, thereby satisfying public peeping lust while denying the public full satisfaction.

The gay community is angry with Tom Cruise because they say he's gay and he says he's not. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but Tom ought to know, don't you think? Well, maybe not the entire gay community is angry; Rosie O'Donnell has not yet withdrawn her public adoration of Tom. Since when do Americans reward negativity, nastiness, and nattering Nabobs with rapt attention? Have we no lives of our own?

If you enjoy Tom Cruise's leaping all over the place doing movie stunts, what difference does it make if he leaps all over the place on a talk show or atop the Eiffel Tower?

Since I oppose contempt prior to investigation, I went to www.scientology.org in an effort to understand the overwhelming enthusiasm of Tom Cruise and other followers of Scientology. And I wanted to take their personality test, because I saw the South Park video which wasn't very nice but then, it's South Park, that's what they do.

While the online test offers a graph of the results, you can't understand the graph yourself; you have to go to a Scientology Center to have the results interpreted by one of their experts, so I'll have to be satisfied with my personality the way it is.
On the Scientology website, I learned that one of the stages a practitioner aspires to is "exhilaration." Apparently Tom Cruise reached that stage and now he's being criticized for it. His fervor found no favor at Paramount. Hollywood's intolerance is growing. Disney-owned ABC TV dumped Mel Gibson's Icon Productions' miniseries about the holocaust because they were offended by his slurred statements denigrating another religion when he was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving. They didn't exactly put it that way. Disney's spokeswoman said they hadn't seen a draft of the series after waiting for two years. I guess they just realized that the day after Mel got soused.

You'd think Mel and Tom committed murder. Two of the top stars in the world, dropped with a colossal thud by their studios because somebody at the top didn't like what they said. This is America? Whether we agree with Tom Cruise or not, he certainly should have the right to express his opinions without getting the sack.

Maybe it's not Tom's "recent behavior" that was the pebble in Sumner Redstone's loafers. I've seen photos of 83-year-old Mr. Redstone and I've seen photos of 44-year-old Mr. Cruise, and I think Tom Cruise was axed because he's so much better looking. Doesn't matter how rich he is or how much media power he wields (Mr. Redstone owns a global programming colossus that includes MTV, Nickelodeon, VH-1, Showtime, the 900 films in Paramount's library, and network-TV programming produced by Paramount, and also such syndicated successes as "Cheers," "Roseanne," and "The Cosby Show," not to mention one of the world's largest publishing enterprises, the New York Knickerbockers and the New York Rangers), he might still suffer from envy. That's just my opinion.

Considering the difference in looks, height, and age, and the similarities in wealth, clout, and philosophy, you'd think these two men could get along for the greater good of their combined occupations, not to mention the well-being of Tom Cruise fans worldwide. Hollywood is abuzz with talk about how studios are now going to get very tough on the major stars because the sweet deals made in the past by their agents are netting people like Tom and Mel more bling than the studios, who have to answer to their stockholders. Not like the old days where studio moguls had to be sucked up to, and studio publicity departments paid reporters to keep morally questionable activities of their stars out of the papers.

If these rumors are true, is it fair to penalize one of the most popular stars in the world because he's smarter than his studio? Tom Cruise's heavyweight agency, Creative Artists, has a roster of stars greater than any other Hollywood agency. What would happen if the agency threatened to withhold their other clients from Paramount movie deals? These days America has a hard time getting along with its global neighbors. Apparently, we can't even get along with each other.

Firing people because they express unpopular opinions about religions is not what America is all about.

Or is it?


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Let me know your opinion on this War Against Tom Cruise.

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For help with your subscription, write to:
maggie@maggievanostrand.com

6 Comments:

Blogger Joepsc said...

What is said in public is not the whole truth..so nobody really knows the reasons for Paramount's actions. All shareholders would want to see profits, nobody would in their right mind do anything to slaughter the golden cow!...in fact, I believe many people would compromise principles for profits. So, only the owners of Paramount themselves know the whole truth. Or could this be a publicity stunt?

Friday, August 25, 2006 at 4:52:00 PM GMT+8  
Blogger Mickell said...

It looks like the bosses of Paramount are genuinely displeased with Cruise's fanatical obsession and overt display of his Scientology beliefs.

Friday, August 25, 2006 at 5:00:00 PM GMT+8  
Blogger 老星洲 said...

Hahaha...

He slams the car door, now he will be slammed by Paramount.

Friday, August 25, 2006 at 6:22:00 PM GMT+8  
Blogger The Horny Bitch said...

I hate guys like Tom Cruise.

Monday, August 28, 2006 at 2:49:00 AM GMT+8  
Blogger Mickell said...

To Lao Xing Zhou: It remains to be seen who gets the last laugh :D

To Horny Bitch: Why don't you like him? Isn't he drop-dead handsome? Do you hate him because he's cocky and preaches too much on Scientology?

Monday, August 28, 2006 at 9:34:00 AM GMT+8  
Blogger See Fei said...

when you are as big as tom, everything you do is targets for gossip and interpretation.

glad to see u up n running again!!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006 at 3:12:00 PM GMT+8  

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