In a disturbing footage that leaked many months ago, an angry Tom Cruise yelled at crew members. And, the actor has now spoken out on the fiasco.

Tom Cruise explains rant

On his Mission: Impossible 7 set in December, a leaked audio of Tom Cruise ranting about the relevance of COVID-19 safety protocols went viral. The 58-year-old actor-producer is now speaking out about the viral audio.

Cruise told Empire magazine, "I said what I said. At that moment, there was a lot at stake. It wasn't my whole crew, though. I had the crew leaving the set, and all I had to do now was choose people."

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Tom Cruise went on to say that filming was never shut down again. "And here we are, still filming. He continued, "All those feelings were running through my head. And knowing that we'd begun shooting a movie was such a massive relief for the whole crew... It was a really emotional experience."

On the leaked clip, Cruise can be heard shouting about crew members allegedly breaking social distancing laws. Cruise said he was in direct contact with studios, insurance agencies, and distributors during the pandemic to establish a gold standard of filmmaking.

The actor also explained that he was not yelling in front of his entire crew; instead, he said he ordered most crew members to leave the set, and he only addressed selected people for their behavior. Those chosen individuals ultimately left the project, with a report in December stating that a total of five crew members had left the film. According to a source, Cruise's initial rage was big, but the storm wasn't calmed after that tirade, according to British tabloid The Sun, which first released the recording.

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Cruise received mixed reaction over COVID-19 rant

In his tirade, Tom Cruise said that movies were only being produced again after months of lockdowns because their creation was the gold standard. At the time, Cruise's screaming rant reactions were mixed, with some thanking him for seeing the big picture and others criticizing him for using "over the top" language.

Cruise's COVID-19 rant was recognized by fellow Hollywood actor George Clooney, who said he didn't overreact. Per Insider, Clooney said in an interview with Howard Stern on the host's SiriusXM radio show, "It's difficult to be in a position of power. You should have a duty for other people, and he is completely right. Many workers would lose their employment if demand declines. People must realize this and take responsibility for it."

Many of those thoughts were running through Cruise's head in his Empire interview when he commented on how Mission: Impossible 7 was one of the first films to be canceled due to the pandemic. "Knowing that we'd begun filming was a massive relief for the entire crew... It was a really emotional experience," said Tom Cruise.

Cruise's spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The original release date for Mission: Impossible 7 was July 23, 2021, but the shooting was significantly delayed. The film's new release date has been set for May 27, 2022.

Tom Cruise returns 3 Golden Globes Awards amid HFPA protest

Meanwhile, according to Deadline, Tom Cruise returned his three Golden Globe awards on Monday in protest to the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA). Several stars, including Cruise, who won two best actor awards for Born on the Fourth of July and Jerry Maguire and a best supporting actor award for Magnolia, have called on the industry to condemn the HFPA's lack of diversity. The news of Cruise's trophies being sent to the HFPA headquarters comes on the heels of NBC's announcement on Monday that the Golden Globes will not be broadcast in 2022. 

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