Re: Top Gun: Maverick - Your thoughts?
Cruise is definitely eccentric, but considering the circumstances (floating covid incubator, believer in weird theories, maybe his psychic advisor told him to be careful for negative influences like evil gazes). Sounds to me like a pretty standard fare "celebrity has a god complex and thinks he's better than us poor real americans" rumor. I assume the implication is that military personnel were mistreated. I don't buy it, honestly, or at least not to an extent of Cruise intentionally poo-pooing anyone. I've heard of plenty of wacky stuff going on above- and below-decks on carriers, half of it ends up being true (like the weird plays that the one creepy captain had acted out with questionable scenes, which blew up into a big scandal), the other half of it ends up being like anything else, which is literally just rumors that compound and evolve like any other environment.
Many years ago Cruise & Spielberg were in my very, very, very small backwater town for a week (or two maybe) while shooting Minority Report. They would come into the little old country store to grab snacks like totally normal Real Americans, would hang out and chat, sat on the rusted old chest freezer on the wraparound front porch and talked with locals, one day I guess they slotted out time to really chill and they stayed for a while, signed autographs, took pics with old grannies and kids, really made a great impression. They were both super friendly and down-to-earth.
People talked fondly about it for years and years. Cruise was certainly no less of a super-rich movie star back then, nor any less of a self-possessed celebrity who was into wacky stuff like LDS either. If "people" were "told to not even look at him" on a navy ship, I can honestly only imagine that came more from command chain than some scenario such as Cruise telling his "team" to demand concessions of sailors. There could also be a lot more behind-the-scenes than was included in the rumor mill. Actually, something like "don't approach or even look at him" totally sounds more like some officer's take on "normal operating procedure when a celebrity is in their "midst" for some reason other than an officially-relaxed setting like a USO show-style meet&greet Q&A etc.
I dunno, who am I to argue with some sailor fb gossip...but I'd almost guarantee that there's plenty of telephone game-style misinformation going on at some point in the rumor, and as always, people love confirming and repeating negative anecdotes about rich/famous people. Hating on celebrities is one of America's greatest pastimes.
All I can say from personal experience is that Cruise was a really nice guy and although he's known for plenty of weird stuff and I can see him making some bizarre demands, the image of him being some kind of kingly figure cutting a swath through ranks of enlisted average joes parting before him like Darth Vader, with his head held high with arrogance, with sobbing E-3s that dared to look upon his angelic visage...meh...more like he refused to eat in the cafeteria or something...being stuck on a floating city can make you naturally inclined to be jealous of any celebrity civilian who comes and goes freely, and makes even the slightest misstep or perceived body language, expression, or movement an intense item of interest over-analyzed by people obsessed to find proof that "he thinks he's better than us".
I don't even care enough to defend him, so don't take this as some kind of emotional investment. He just happens to be the only movie star I do actually have some personal anecdote about, and it happens to be positive. Either way, free country, vote with your dollars, and all that, if you wanna boycott the movie I support that whole-heartedly. If it seems like even remotely an interesting or cool movie for your tastes though, it seems like an odd line to draw in the sand and at the end of the day it's not like you're hurting him or really proving much of a point to anyone, that's just my opinion though.
Most rock stars and A-listers are guilty of being "uppity" in some way, if you only ever support the few celebrities who have never been guilty of being ***holes, you must not listen to much music or watch much of anything at all on TV :P