In 2021, Tom Cruise waged a one-man war against sexism and racism in the movie industry and returned one of the most desirable yet non-inclusive awards to sender.
Tom Cruise is a one-man army in more ways than one. As the boldest action actor of all time, he’s world-famous for pulling off insane stunts for his movies without ever resorting to using stunt doubles. As one of the most influential people in the entire movie industry, he’s single handedly responsible for saving the theaters during the pandemic.
And as a human being, Tom Cruise is not afraid to stand up for something that he believes to be right — even if it means giving up the dream of thousands of other actors when he’s presented with it. In 2021, that’s exactly what Cruise did despite the sheer symbolism of his actions: he showed the world what he stood for and against.
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, also known as HFPA, gives prestigious awards, Golden Globes, but it’s also known for its incredibly insensitive policies. The HFPA has a long history of specifically avoiding people of color and other minorities, and the questions its members ask actors at press events are often sexist and racist.
Some major actors, like Marvel’s Avengers cast, have already warned their Hollywood colleagues to stay away from the HFPA for these very reasons, but no one was taking any concrete actions. Until Tom Cruise made his power move following another scandalous revelation by the Association, that is.
The actor returned his own three Golden Globes to the HFPA and showed his disregard for the Association’s questionable policies. While the actor’s Globes symbolized the stages of his long and fruitful career (he received them for Jerry Maguire, Magnolia, and Born on the Fourth of July), he wanted to make a statement.
It was but a show of compassion on Cruise’s part, but fortunately, the actor was not one to hesitate before bringing his Globes back to the HFPA reception desk: he’d always said that he never did his movies for awards but rather because of passion. And passion was what led him to give up some of the most prestigious awards in the world — the passion for what’s right.