CORONAVIRUS

George Clooney Says Tom Cruise 'Didn't Overreact' In His Viral COVID-19 Speech

Though Clooney would've handled it differently.

Tom Cruise went viral this week for passionately pontificating about why COVID-19 protocols shouldn’t be a mission impossible, and apparently he has a supporter in George Clooney.

According to audio released by The Sun on Tuesday, Cruise launched into an expletive-laden tirade against “Mission: Impossible 7” crew members who were reportedly not adhering to safety protocols and standing too close together. (The incident was later confirmed by Variety.) A clip of the outburst, which occurred during filming in the U.K., spread online with many applauding Cruise, though the audio also received criticism for the actor-producer “punching down” on subordinates.

Clooney came out somewhere in the middle.

“Well, he didn’t overreact, because it is a problem,” Clooney said Wednesday on “The Howard Stern Show,” according to Entertainment Weekly and other outlets.

The actor reportedly added, “I have a friend who is an [assistant director] on another TV show who just had almost the exact same thing happen with not quite as far-out a response.”

“I wouldn’t have done it that big,” Clooney continued. “I wouldn’t have pulled people out. You’re in a position of power and it’s tricky, right? You do have a responsibility for everybody else and he’s absolutely right about that, and if the production goes down, a lot of people lose their jobs. You know, people have to understand that and they have to be responsible. It’s just not my style to take everybody to task that way.”

In Cruise’s reported rant, he threatened to fire staffers breaking protocol, saying, “I’m on the phone with every fucking studio at night, insurance companies, producers, and they’re looking at us and using us to make their movies. We are creating thousands of jobs, you motherfuckers. I don’t ever want to see it again. Ever!”

According to The Sun, five staffers quit after Cruise went into a second outburst on Tuesday as news of the first incident made its way online.

Reps for Cruise did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment on The Sun’s new report.