Everyone in Hollywood knows that Tom Cruise is a member of the Church of Scientology. The actor has been with the church since the 1990s. Its leader, David Miscavige, stood as Cruise’s best man in his wedding to Katie Holmes in 2006.
David Miscavige isn’t a stranger to controversy. As the leader of Scientology, he has been under scrutiny multiple times. His biggest scandal might have been that his wife, Shelly Miscavige, might have gone missing. Shelly stopped appearing in public in 2007, and many had speculations about her supposed disappearance. It all came to a head in 2013, when ex-Scientology member Leah Remini was reported missing. Remini’s allegations prompted an investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department. The case was concluded. The LAPD said that Shelly Miscavige was safe and, as her lawyers said, was living out of the public’s eyes.
This little scandal was part of Jerrod Carmichael’s quip in the 2023 Golden Globes. It has become somewhat of a tradition for the hosts to poke fun at the celebrities throughout the show, and Carmichael took a jab at Tom Cruise. He said, “I have a pitch. I think maybe we take these three things and exchange them for the safe return of Shelly Miscavige,” while holding three Golden Globes he said belonged to Cruise.
In 2021, Tom Cruise and other Hollywood celebrities called out and boycotted the Golden Globes 2021. Cruise returned his three awards in the same year. The scandal was about the lack of diversity in the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which judge the awards show. The controversy came to light in 2021 and caused NBC to refuse the airing the Golden Globes in 2022, which was why the awards night did not happen last year.
Carmichael joked about the whole thing in his first few minutes of hosting, saying, “I’ll tell you why I’m here. I’m here because I’m Black.” He then addressed the controversy and ended with a lighter note, “They haven’t had a Black host in 79 years, they’re going to fire the first one? I’m unfireable.”
The Golden Globes controversy may be why Tom Cruise was absent at last night’s awards night even though his film Top Gun: Maverick got nominated for the Best Drama category. His absence probably gave a chance for Carmichael to make him one of the punchlines. But the jokes thrown in the Golden Globes are usually without malice, like how Ricky Gervais did it before.
Nonetheless, fans are not altogether impressed by Carmichael’s quip. Some fans have rallied behind Cruise on Twitter. They are saying that the joke was below the belt and that it was digging up past controversies that were already over and done with.
Tom Cruise has yet to comment on the quip, but he rarely gives any comment on scandals involving him anyway. However, there are still some speculations about the truth behind Shelly Miscavige’s alleged disappearance. And because the Church of Scientology is so secretive, we may never really know what happened.