Paul Haggis on Journalists Not Asking Tom Cruise About Scientology: "Shame on You"

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Tom Cruise

"I don't know how journalists can continue to call themselves journalists if they aren't brave enough to ask a question," Haggis said in a recent interview.

Paul Haggis wants Tom Cruise to get tougher questions when he promotes his films. 

The Crash director, who was a member of the Church of Scientology before leaving in 2009, told the Daily Beast that Cruise's team doesn't let journalists ask the A-list actor about the hot-button religion during interviews, which Haggis does not appreciate. 

"His PR people are very smart," Haggis said. "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?"

Haggis acknowledged that reporters apparently had to agree to avoid the topic of Scientology when speaking to Cruise about Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation, or else they wouldn't have been granted the interview, which is why the recent documentary Going Clear never came up.

"Well, fine, but there are things called journalistic integrity, and there are things more important than promoting a movie sometimes," continued Haggis, who directed the HBO miniseries Show Me a Hero. "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."

Jon Stewart faced some criticism of this ilk after interviewing Cruise last month on the Daily Show. In a guest column for The Hollywood Reporter, Going Clear director Alex Gibney called the interview a "missed opportunity" and faulted the "machine of celebrity" for letting Cruise off the hook. 

Email: Ryan.Gajewski@THR.com
Twitter: @_RyanGajewski

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