Tom Cruise Versus the Internet: Readers Respond

Cruise Control

Last week, Film Critic Amy Nicholson offered a contrarian take on Tom Cruise's famous couch-jumping moment — arguing that the events of 2005 irrevocably changed our relationship with celebrity, and that Cruise's career as a serious actor was a major casualty. ("The Last Movie Star," May 23). In response, the Internet went a little bit crazy: Everyone from the BBC to Buzzfeed to Breitbart linked approvingly to Nicholson's piece. While we heard from a few people insisting that Nicholson must be a paid shill for Scientology, we also received hundreds of thoughtful responses.

Joyvilla writes. "Great article! Very interesting about the whole YouTube rise and how the media is just out for blood. Refreshing, well done, and a great read."

James Taylor agrees, writing, "First of all, great article! I look forward to Thursdays so I can hurry home, collect my new issue, and relax as I read all about what is interesting in LA LA Land, and today's article by Ms. Nicholson did not disappoint. I learned a great deal about Tom Cruise. In fact, I was surprised to know he never actually jumped up and down on the couch.

"After reading her article, my feelings have softened a bit about Mr. Cruise. He definitely got a raw deal. It's like the mainstream media held a grudge after being corralled so successfully for so long by his old publicist.

"But no matter how soft my feelings get toward him, I could never get over his very vocal association with Scientology. First it's just the stupid factor. I actually know a lifelong friend of L. Ron Hubbard, and he told me Hubbard used to laugh at the idiots buying into Scientology. But that's beside the point. What about the fact that, according to Scientology, millions of us are now supposed to be dead because we were not prepared by the tens of thousands of dollars' worth of Hubbard's courses, or however much is in your bank account if they can get away with it?

"I had a good friend who was permanently damaged, mentally and financially, via their program. When her money was gone, they dumped her, forever changed for the far worse. They are harming many out there right now. So as long as Cruise has anything to do with Scientology, I will not spend one cent on anything they are a part of. Hopefully, soon many will wake up to the dangers Scientology poses to many unwary people simply in search of peace of mind."

John Dalton writes, "The author's protestations that Tom Cruise played no role in his 2005 media 'meltdown' are absurd. Why Nicholson felt the need to help rehabilitate his image, I have no idea. As she points out, he seems to have recovered nicely from those few months in 2005 where he seemed to 'go rogue.' The fact that his movies have been less interesting is a problem with Hollywood in general, not a Tom Cruise problem."

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