Three weeks after documentarian Alex Gibney criticized outgoing “The Daily Show” host Jon Stewart for failing to ask Tom Cruise any Scientology-related questions during his appearance on the talk show, Oscar winner and “Show Me A Hero” director Paul Haggis has come forward with a similar bone to pick with all journalists.
Speaking to The Daily Beast, Haggis denounced the media for ignoring issues related to Scientology during Cruise’s “Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation” press tour, especially in the wake of Gibney’s “Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison System of Belief,” which painted Cruise as one of the religion’s most important cultural figures. Haggis himself appears in the documentary and reveals shocking details about his personal time as a member of the Church of Scientology.
“We forgive anybody anything if they’re a movie star, I guess!” he said in response to to the action hit’s booming global box office haul. “His PR people are very smart. But I don’t know how journalists can continue to call themselves journalists if they aren’t brave enough to ask a question. I mean, how big does the elephant in the room have to be before you ask about it?”
As has been widely reported, Cruise’s PR team allegedly made sure media outlets would not bring up the religion if Cruise were to appear for an interview, but Haggis feels the media has betrayed itself even more by doing so.
“Well, fine, but there are things called journalistic integrity, and there are things more important than promoting a movie sometimes,” he said. “It was so glaringly obvious. There was this huge elephant there, and every journalist agreed not to address it. Why? You’re just a PR person at that point. Shame on you.”
Head over to The Daily Beast to read Haggis’ entire interview.