LIFE IN THE TIME OF COVID-19
By RICHARD STERNBERG • AllOTSEGO.com Columnist
I admit that I was just not a fan of Tom Cruise. I don’t dislike his acting, he’s just an actor that doesn’t get me excited or make me particularly want to see his movies.
My antipathy may include a reaction to some of his off-screen actions in the past. But he just received some negative publicity for an act that I deem priceless and for which he is being publicly criticized.
I, on the other hand, think what he did was great and deserves commendation. I think I’ll watch his movies again (at least on my streaming services).
The headline of the article in Monday’s New York Times by Mike Ives is “Tom Cruise Erupts at ‘Mission: Impossible’ Crew Over COVID -19 Breach. On a film set in Britain, the actor tore into the crew with and expletive-laden rant.”
It seems two crew members had violated COVID -19 precautions while filming in London. The production had previously been delayed by the pandemic with crew members on set testing positive.
The report said Cruise saw two otherwise unspecified crew members standing close together at a computer screen in violation of written protocols that everyone, including himself, were required and had agreed to follow to prevent a second outbreak of COVID-19 on the shooting, which had previously shut down production.
It further stated that a crew member leaked an audio tape of the episode. I can’t decide whether he needs to fire that individual or reward them.
In an attempt to make Mr. Cruise look petty and petulant, in my mind they elevated him to someone who actually cares what happens to those around him and would take action even in the face of opprobrium for doing so. He’s absolutely correct.
The two individuals placed the income of everyone else involved in the production at risk unnecessarily. Movie sets, especially of action blockbusters cost millions of dollars per day to produce and generate hundreds of jobs.
Two individuals placed the whole production at jeopardy of increasing delays and costs, loss of income of many of the workers, along with placing the health of others at risk.
I only wish I and others who see selfish violation of best practice behavior had the power to very severely chastise it without risk of violent or other retaliation
I recognize that many people are COVID deniers and feel that they have rights also. They think the disease is a fraud until someone they care about gets sick or dies. And what’s worse to me, when they get sick because of their own risky behavior, feel that that have the right to get the best health care possible even though they put everyone on the health care team, and everyone they come in contact to, at risk in order to take care of them.
When did we as a society get so selfish?
So, I come to praise Cruise, not to bury him. I wish the rest of us had leave to do this. And Mr. Cruise would you please start production of something in Cooperstown immediately and bring your own COVID police to town. It would improve my, and everyone else’s, chance of surviving this disaster.