Idol Chatter

Idol Chatter

Mel & Tom in Martyrwood

The news that Tom Cruise has signed a deal to finance future movies with the owner of the Washington Redskins football team, Daniel Snyder, and his investment partners restores hope that we’ll live to see “Mission Impossible 13.” But what does it mean for the cause of religion in Hollywood? The key may be the Cruise-Gibson connection.

Since Tom’s “firing” by Viacom chief Sumner Redstone, the press has paired Tom and Mel: two megastars whose faith–Scientology and Tridentine Catholicism, respectively–has ruined their careers. After Redstone told the Wall St. Journal last week that Cruise had committed “creative suicide” by behaving erratically over the past few months, word crept out that the real issue was Cruise’s Scientology-based criticism of Brooke Shields’s post-partum pill-popping on the “Today” show. Others said Cruise had done himself in when he riled the all-powerful Steven Spielberg. “It was well-known that Spielberg was not happy about the fact that Cruise used his junkets from ‘War of the Worlds’ to promote his religious beliefs,” a source told AFP News.

Bolstering the Cruise-Gibson tie was director Rob Reiner’s comment last week that Mel’s apology for an anti-Semitic tirade wasn’t enough; he had to apologize for anti-Semitism in his “The Passion.”

Cruise’s new deal with Snyder shows that there is Tom-Mel synergy going on, but it has more to do with moola than martyrdom. Like Mel, Cruise has signed with investors who look only at the bottom line, not at behavior or beliefs that might embarrass them at Hollywood happenings. Far from dousing Tom or Mel’s faith-based fire, these outsiders may give the stars more room to express their religion in their films.

  • Scott

    word crept out that the real issue was Cruise’s Scientology-based criticism of Brooke Shields’ post-partum pill-popping on the “Today” show. I don’t think describing a person who is taking an anti-depressant for post-partum depression as “pill-popping” is necessarily the best way to go about it. Post partum depression is a very serious illness that can’t cause women to harm or kill (Andrea Yates?) their babies. It is a form of psychosis. Additionally, untreated depression frequently leads to suicide attempts. Untreated depression from bipolar disorder, for example, leads to a suicide success rate of 15% for all who suffer from it. I am on the board of the Depressive/Bipolar Support Alliance, a national support group of those who suffer from a biological disorder. We do not “pill-pop”. We medicate. I am well aware of the dangers of not medicating. I have, at various times, put a knife, a hatchet, and a couple of dozen valiums with a half-bottle vodka chaser into my body. If I didn’t take my meds, my wife would be a widow and my child would not exist. And I think Tom Cruise is a freaking idiot who will get people killed, because some are too stupid to listen to their doctors over the celebrity du jour.>

  • Grommel

    Both men are morons.>

  • nobody (from nowhere)

    Frankly I don’t know the history of psychiatry either. However I’ve heard Jews started it. Speaking of synergy! Hey I think I feel a song coming on They get up in the morning. Why should they bother? Each can’t overcome the sins of his father. Poor them. The anti-Semites.>

  • Jungle

    If only the newsmedia would quit falling over themselves to cover (bad behavior)and only cover the good,then the bad would disappear.>

  • Anonymous

    I think most people Forget the real meaning behind mel’s movie,That is ” Why did a man who knows no one today let himself be treated as he was( Jesus Christ)And yet expect to ret respect knowing already how we as a people treat one another now.I am ashamed of the way I live my life and the things I’ve done ,and to think THIS simple man is going to come back and judge me for those acts scare me ,because he took what I should deserve one day ,so I would not have to.It is like saying you don’t feel like you owe him anything for his caring enough to take our place .Lord Have mercy on us all!!!!!>

  • http://none Anonymous

    I think that Tom Cruise’s comments about post-partum depression were taken completely out of context. I think that all he was asserting is what many, many people, including many medical doctors have asserted – that more medication is not the answer to everything. I think his comment had little to do directly with post-partum depression at all, but was what most people would like celebrities to say – that drugs aren’t the answer to everything. Personally, Scientology is not my thing, I find it quite personally offensive to compare L. Ron Hubbard to Christ or Buddha. However, I have met a few people who practice this and they were nice folks – one was a chiropracter I knew who had a big heart and loved people. I don’t know that Tom Cruise has done anything that should be the cause of criticism. He has always seemed like an awfully nice person, down to earth, without the arrogance of some Hollywood folks, without the craziness of some Hollywood folks. I think this is just another example of wanting to tear down someone else because we are jealous of the life they lead and maybe because we are bored and want some controversy. As long as people are obeying the law, I think we need to let people practice their spiritual beliefs as they see fit. Otherwise, when we start making political judgements about people and such based on religion, we start to cross over the dangerous line between separation of church and – well, maybe not state, but secular life. I think spiritual life should deal with spiritual things and how people practice should not affect how people treat them in secular life, in business dealings and etc. Life should not be one big competitive , money based kind of “warfare.” We are better than that.>

  • broadminded broad

    A big “AMEN” to Scott above. My teenaged grandson, who has bipolar disorder, was just thrilled to hear Cruise criticizing the use of psychiatric medications, so impressed that he now refuses to take his Depakote or even see his therapist. Wonder what Tom’s religion has to say about a person who doesn’t seem to care if people literally die because of his blather?>

  • Jeanne

    Did it ever occure to anyone that these men don’t care what ‘happens to their popularity’. That their faith is much more important. As much as I disagree with Tom and agree with Mel I have to admire both for standing up for what they believe, weither it’s misguided or not. They stand for something, and tell the world at large what that is, while most of the world is too PC to say or do anything. And if anything “Passion” was anti-government, anti-Roman if anything.>

  • Sandi

    Tridentine Catholoicism has not damaged Mel Gibson’s career in the least. Choosing to make a film based on an anti-Semitic tract about the crucifixion did not ruin Mel Gibson’s career, either. Whether or not his career is ruined is a separate issue from the damage the man has done to himself, his name, and his family. Alcoholism and anti-Semitic bigotry have damaged Gibson’s reputation and threaten to do significant damage to his professional standing. More significantly, his failure to face down the ugly elements in his character have damaged his name, threatened his health, and the health and well-being of others since he insists on drinking and driving drunk. One may or may not agree with his religious views. However, if Gibson is involved in any rehabilitation program that’s based on the 12 Steps of AA, he will have to make a “fearless and searching moral inventory” of himself. This will involve facing parts of himself he’s proved unwilling to come to terms with so far. He will never be cured of his demons until he faces them for his own sake, and that of his marriage and children. And yes, I agree with Rob Reiner: it’s time for Mel to look at his movie, acknowledge that it was a HUGE financial success (talk about ‘the bottom line’ and “moola”), but also biased and anti-Semitic. Sandi>

  • Angella

    I think the only thing these two men have in common is that that they are both human with faults just like you and I. I think we all have forgotten how fallen this world really is, and everything in it. We seem to forget it’s the blood of Christ that makes us righteous not are own. We shouldn’t be pointing our crocked finger at no one, we have all sinned and fallen short of God’s Glory. We have all done stupid things, that we’ve regreted and that have not only hurt others, but have hurt ourselves and in turn have hurt Jesus. What it comes down to is we shouldn’t judge lest we be judged. In closing sure someone’s behavior may seem a bit bazarre and even disheartening, but who are we to say anything.>

  • Anonymous

    I don’t know about Mel Gibson (I never saw Passion), but I’ve read that at least one reason Tom was getting let go was he was simply too costly. He wanted something like $10 million yearly plus some when he did movies. Since MI3 raked in only a little more than what it cost to make it, it seems that it is just economical not to sign Tom back on.>

  • Scott

    I think that all he was asserting is what many, many people, including many medical doctors have asserted – that more medication is not the answer to everything. TC was not saying “more”. He was saying “none”. Post-partum depression is entirely hormonal. Dianetcs, therapy, meditation, etc. will not get you out of it.>

  • Kim Cooper

    Mel Gibson’s religion doesn’t seem to be giving him any peace in his soul. If it did, he wouldn’t need to drink and drive and hate. Maybe he needs to change religions?>

  • Drina

    I think that Tom Cruise’s comments about post-partum depression were taken completely out of context. I think that all he was asserting is what many, many people, including many medical doctors have asserted – that more medication is not the answer to everything. I disagree. His comments were condescending and insulting, and demonstrated quite clearly that he knows very little about brain & behavior research. When a couch-jumping looney claims to know more about your neural functioning than all of the doctors in the world, please ignore.>

  • Deacon John M. Bresnahan

    In Gibson’s case it is said “In Vino Veritas” and that the real Mel was the anti-Semite Mel–forgetting that if it had been an Irish or Italian cop arresting him he might have blurted out invectives we all know can be hurled at those of such bacground we are angry at. And if wine always brings out what we really want to say or do why is it still rape (or date-rape) if a man gets a woman to have sex with him after getting her as drunk as Gibson. Didn’t the wine just help her to do what she REALLY wanted to do? As for changing religions–the Catholic Church does not throw alchoholics to the wolves. I know of a person who changed religions to one where there was little known alchoholism. He totally embraced his new faith–and repeatedly fell back into drinking and was eventually “disfellowshipped.” (No wonder some religions have good purity stats–they amputate their problem followers.)>

  • Scott

    But Mel also made a movie that more than a few people say is anti-Semitic.>

  • Angella

    Mel also made a movie that more than a few people thought that it was not anti-semitic…including myself…>

  • Scott


  • Esther Kustanowitz

    Well, I’m convinced: too much money makes you crazy.>

  • foxylady

    If people really think “The Passion” was Anti-Semitic, then they haven’t read or studied the Bible leading up to the crucifixion of Christ.>

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