Sumner Redstone recently fired Tom Cruise, complaining of what the WSJ calls "public antics and incessant stumping for personal causes."
We don’t think that someone who effectuates creative suicide and costs the company revenue should be on the lot.
Mr. Redstone, what in God’s name would you know about "effectuating creative suicide?" There is a presumption here, that Mr. Redstone is capable of making this determination and that he is correct in making it here.
A great many movie goers might be inclined to say that they don’t much care how Mr. Cruise conducts himself off the screen just so long as he entertains and engages on the screen. The private and the public Cruise may have been delinked. It’s almost certainly true that Mr. Redstone has never tested the proposition or even considered it in any systematic way. I would be very surprised if he even had a model of contemporary culture that helped decide the matter one way or another. No, he’s just winging it…and risking some part of the future of Paramount in the process. Very odd, really, when you stop to think about it.
This raises an interesting possibility: that when Chairman Redstone publicly fires a big star and does so with grand declaration to which he is not entitled, he is engaging in behavior that is not very different from jumping on the couch in the middle of an Oprah interview.
Marr, Merissa. 2006. Sumner Redstone Gives Tom Cruise His Walking Papers. Wall Street Journal. August 23, 2006.