Paul Haggis, who directed the Oscar-winning drama Crash and the fantastic In The Valley of Elah, is a pretty vocal opponent of the Church of Scientology.
And he's got good reason - he was formerly a member and has been an active campaigner against them since he left in 2009. However, more recently, Haggis has started taking potshots at us - entertainment journalists.
"I don't know how journalists can continue to call themselves journalists if they aren't brave enough to ask a question," said Haggis in a recent interview.
The director was speaking recently about how no journalist brought up Tom Cruise's choice of religion at recent junket interviews for Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation, saying that he "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?"
Well, let's back-track this a little bit first. Tom Cruise is one of the biggest, if not the biggest actor working in mainstream cinema today. More often than not, when you're put in a room with any person in the public eye - whether they're a musician, an actor or whatever - journalists are given a few ground rules by publicists.
No questions about their personal life. No questions about recent relationships. In some cases, yes, no questions about their religion. You're a professional and you're there to talk about THEIR profession. This point, in fact, was brought up to Haggis. His response?
"Well, fine, but there are things called journalistic integrity, and there are things more important than promoting a movie sometimes," Haggis explained. "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."
Haggis does raise a very interesting point. At what point does an interview become a PR exercise rather than a straight interview? Most junket interviews last for in and around six minutes. In that time, you've got to cover the film, any topics you feel might generate discussion about the film, bring up any future projects they may have and possibly address some rumours regarding a future project or anything of the like.
Sure, if we had thirty minutes, no cameras and no PR people hovering over you with a stopwatch - they really do carry stopwatches, by the way - then sure, we could bring up Scientology.
Provided we're tired of the whole earning a living from being a journalist. What Haggis doesn't grasp is that we would all LOVE to ask people the hard questions. Of course we would. The most likely result of it is that you'll end up in a situation similar to Krishnan Guru-Murthy's cringe-inducing situation with Robert Downey, Jr.
Actors are fully aware that they're not giving you the full story when you sit down to do these things. They're not stupid. Nor are we. The idea that a journalist should go straight for the jugular and ask them about something about their private life - when they're there to talk about movies - is pretty damn daft.
Don't misunderstand us. We get that Scientology is pretty damn sinister and Tom Cruise is one of their figureheads. But Haggis' high-horse attitude to journalists asking questions about it is ridiculous. What would happen if, when Haggis was a practising Scientologist, someone asked him about it? Would he blackball said journalist?