Paul Haggis on journalists not asking Tom Cruise about Scientology: 'Shame on you'

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Tom Cruise Keeping Quiet About Scientology


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.

Read More: Church of Scientology Slams Nude Tom Cruise "Publicity Stunt"

"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?"

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Paul Haggis on journalists not asking Tom Cruise about Scientology: 'Shame on you'
Tom Cruise, star of the upcoming film "Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation," addresses the audience during a surprise appearance at the Paramount Pictures presentation at CinemaCon 2015 at Caesars Palace on Tuesday, April 21, 2015, in Las Vegas. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
US actor Tom Cruise waves as he attends a press conference for his latest movie 'Edge of Tomorrow' in Tokyo on June 27, 2014. Cruise is here to promote the science fiction film, adapted from the novel 'All You Need Is Kill' written by Japanese novelist Hiroshi Sakurazaka. AFP PHOTO / Yoshikazu TSUNO (Photo credit should read YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP/Getty Images)
VIENNA, AUSTRIA - AUGUST 28: (EDITORS NOTE: Image was created as a still grab taken from video.) Tom Cruise sighted signing autographs on August 28, 2014 in Vienna, Austria. (Photo by Kai Danneberg/GC Images)
US actor Tom Cruise smiles as he attends a press conference for his latest movie 'Edge of Tomorrow' in Tokyo on June 27, 2014. Cruise is here to promote the science fiction film, adapted from the novel 'All You Need Is Kill' written by Japanese novelist Hiroshi Sakurazaka. AFP PHOTO / Yoshikazu TSUNO (Photo credit should read YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP/Getty Images)
OSAKA, JAPAN - JUNE 26: Tom Cruise attends the promotional event for 'Edge of Tomorrow' at the Dotonbori Riverside on June 26, 2014 in Osaka, Japan. (Photo by Jun Sato/WireImage)
CHICHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 31: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 48 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Tom Cruise watches the racing as he attends Ladies Day of Glorious Goodwood at Goodwood Racecourse on July 31, 2014 in Chichester, England. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
Hollywood superstar Tom Cruise waves upon arrival for the Japan premiere of his latest film "Mission: Impossible III" at Odaiba, part of a sprawling man-made island in Tokyo Bay, Tuesday, June 20, 2006. The movie is screened in the country from July 8. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)
U.S. actor Tom Cruise and his fiancee Katie Holmes arrive for the London Premiere of his latest film, The War of the Worlds, in London's Leicester Square, Sunday June 19, 2005 (AP Photo/ Max Nash)
FILE - In this Saturday, June 4, 2005 file photo, Tom Cruise, right, reaches for the hand of his girlfriend Katie Holmes after accepting the MTV Generation award, during the MTV Movie Awards, in Los Angeles. Cruise and Homes are calling it quits after five years of marriage. Holmes' attorney Jonathan Wolfe said Friday June 29, 2012 that the couple is divorcing, but called it a private matter for the family. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File)
Photo by: Mitch Gerber/starmaxinc.com ©2004 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED Telephone/Fax: (212) 995-1196 11/8/04 Tom Cruise on the set of "War of the Worlds". (Newark, NJ) (Star Max via AP Images)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, UNITED STATES: US actor Tom Cruise (R) waves to fans as he arrives at the Los Angeles premiere of new film 'The Others' which he executive produced with Paula Wagner (L), in West Hollywood, CA, 07 August 2001. The film stars Cruise's estranged wife Nicole Kidman. AFP PHOTO/ Lucy Nicholson (Photo credit should read LUCY NICHOLSON/AFP/Getty Images)
US actor Tom Cruise looks on as he takes a break from filming a scene in the movie 'Mission Impossible 5' on September 25, 2014, in the Kasbah of the Udayas near the Moroccan capital Rabat. The filming in Morocco of Hollywood action movie 'Mission Impossible 5' is to close off a section of a main highway for two weeks, the highways authority and local media said. AFP PHOTO / FADEL SENNA (Photo credit should read FADEL SENNA/AFP/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, UNITED STATES: Actor Tom Cruise holds his Golden Globe award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture Drama for his role in 'Magnolia' at the 57th Annual Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, CA 23 January, 2000. AFP PHOTO (ELECTRONIC IMAGE) Vince BUCCI/mn (Photo credit should read Vince Bucci/AFP/Getty Images)
SYDNEY - JUNE 01: AUSTRALIAN ACTRESS NICOLE KIDMAN AND ACTOR HUSBAND TOM CRUISE OUT IN SYDNEY. (Photo by Patrick Riviere/Getty Images).

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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.

Read More: Scientology Movie Director "Disappointed" Jon Stewart Didn't Confront Tom Cruise (Guest Column)

"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.

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