The news that Paramount had decided to cut ties with Tom Cruise sent shockwaves through Hollywood on Tuesday.
The end of the 14-year relationship with Cruise was reportedly due to the actor’s “...controversial and sometimes odd public behavior...,” according to the Wall Street Journal.
Cruise, the star of Paramount hits like “Mission: Impossible,” “Top Gun” and “Days of Thunder” has based his Cruise/Wagner production company on the Paramount lot since 1992.
Now, his production partner Paula Wagner is sounding off to Access Hollywood’s Billy Bush about the split.
“For some reason they felt it was okay to do that to Tom Cruise now. In other words, his stock has gone down they felt to the point that this could be acceptable now, whereas, I was saying two years ago [they] wouldn’t even dream of it and you and I know that,” Billy said to Paula. “But do you feel that Tom has hurt himself by promoting Scientology, by sharing his relationship with Katie so much, by talking about Brooke Shields, that maybe he has hurt himself to the point that they can make this kind of estimation and do that?”
“Let me just say this and this is my final statement—what Paramount Pictures has said and done is patently insane and irresponsible to shareholders,” Paula insisted. “And when you consider that Tom Cruise earned Paramount Pictures $1 billion in the last year and the $400 million made by ‘M:I:III’ makes it Paramount’s number one film of the year… something is wrong.”
“You have a personal feeling underneath it all… You know this town very well and you have dealt with these people for many, many years in what was mostly a very happy 14-year relationship. What do you think?” Billy asked.
“I think that what we’re doing right now is that we are on the threshold of the future of what this business is because when a film studio such as Paramount Pictures decides to attack and make personal what, in fact, are business issues it’s disgraceful that somebody who says they want to end a business deal makes it personal,” Paula said. “That’s the height of unprofessionalism and it’s one of the reasons why we feel that people and artists in the industry will think hard about working with Paramount Pictures in the future.”
And Paula also went on to say that the rest of Hollywood has taken notice of the way Paramount handled the situation.
“The creative community, frankly is up in arms about the fact that this is what a studio would do to a serious actor who has made as many movies and done as well as he has,” she added. “The creative community in Hollywood is outraged about this and I don’t think this is going to stop here… A bigger issue that’s coming out is what is going wrong with Paramount’s studios? Are we watching the destruction of Paramount?”
But does Tom or Paula have plans to sue Paramount?
“Is that an option?” Billy asked.
“I can’t answer that question,” Paula replied.
“Is it definitely on the table?” Billy followed up.
“I can’t, I wouldn’t venture forth there,” she answered. “I think that their behavior today is indecent, disrespectful and offensive.”