Tom Cruise Wants Actors To Keep Working During The Strike

By Zack Zagranis | Updated

tom cruise golden globes
Tom Cruise in Jerry Maguire

Hollywood megastar Tom Cruise thinks actors should be able to promote their work during the current SAG-AFTRA strike in order to help movie theaters. As per The Hollywood Reporter Tinsel Town’s most prominent Scientologist hopped on a Zoom call in June to try and broker a deal between the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers and SAG-AFTRA. Cruise stressed that the theater industry was in a “fragile state” post-pandemic and reminded the guild that promotion helps out actors as well as studios.

Tom Cruise recently attempted to broker a deal between SAG-AFTRA and the AMPTP, suggesting actors continue promoting current films hitting box offices.

Tom Cruise was apparently the only celebrity of his caliber to participate directly in pre-strike negotiations. With the exception of the promotion issue, the Mission: Impossible star was firmly in the union’s camp when it came to other topics discussed on the call. Cruise spoke on behalf of SAG-AFTRA in regard to two issues: better working conditions for stunt performers and the use of AI.

And while the union appreciated Tom’s support on those issues, it wasn’t quite as enthusiastic about Cruise’s suggestion that actors be allowed to continue promoting projects during a strike, with one source quoted as saying that the actor’s pleas made them feel “uncomfortable.”

That’s most likely because SAG-AFTRA’s strict rules on strike etiquette insist that promotion, including publicity tours, interviews, convention appearances, and even social media posts, for struck work/companies is a huge no-no during a work stoppage.

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Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One

Studios have already approached content creators on platforms such as TikTok and Instagram to make paid content to advertise their upcoming projects—a dubious workaround that makes it even odder that Tom Cruise would shill for the AMPTP on this particular issue.

Cruise did speak on behalf of SAG-AFTRA in regard to two issues: better working conditions for stunt performers and the use of AI.

It’s important to point out that the negotiation session that Cruise participated in took place prior to the strike before the studios started attempting to circumvent actors by using content creators. However, given the nature of Hollywood studios and the current state of social media, it’s hard to believe that Cruise couldn’t have guessed that the AMPTP would try something similar when he was advocating for actors to promote their work during the strike.

As we now know, both sides of the aisle ultimately ignored Tom Cruise’s pleas, and the Screen Actors Guild, as well as the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, officially went on strike July 14, joining the already striking Writers Guild of America.

With actors and writers on strike as well as other unions like the teamsters refusing to cross picket lines in solidarity, Hollywood is looking at what pretty much amounts to a complete work stoppage.

Mission: Impossible

Everything from the next season of Stranger Things to Cruise’s own Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part Two has been delayed and pushed back thanks to the strikes. Meanwhile, Dead Reckoning Part One, currently in theaters, brought in $235 million worldwide over the weekend, proving that the film is capable of making bank even without Tom Cruise actively promoting it.

Mission: Impossible 8‘s success aside, it’s not surprising that Tom Cruise would lobby so hard to protect the theater industry. After all, he is the man Steven Spielberg said “Saved Hollywood’s A**” after Top Gun Maverick grossed nearly $1.5 billion worldwide last year. It’s a good bet Cruise sees it as his responsibility to save it again.