Leah Remini, Adam Kinzinger and Yashar Ali fight over ‘Top Gun’
Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), actress and former Scientologist Leah Remini, and New York magazine and HuffPost contributor Yashar Ali are fighting. The object? Top Gun: Maverick.
As The hill reports, Kinzinger hailed the film as “awesome” in a recent tweet, prompting Ali to caution against praising Scientologist Tom Cruise’s new film even in such innocuous terms.
“I am not kidding when I say this tweet will be held up to Scientologists as an example of Tom Cruise’s excellence and how he is the most dedicated Scientologist,” Ali wrote. “Things like this, especially from elected officials, are what cause doubting Scientologists to reconsider.”
Kinzinger responded with a quote tweet: “WHAT??”
Leah Remini, who left the Church of Scientology in 2013 and has since released three seasons of her docuseries Leah Remini: Scientology and the Consequences, was quick to jump in: “Instead of investigating Scientology for its abuses, its intimidation of tax officials, among other things, you are promoting its second-in-command’s project,” she said. writing. “I understood.”
Scientology founder and science fiction author L. Ron Hubbard first announced “Project Celebrity,” an initiative designed to normalize his religion that recruited stars like Kirstie Alley and John Travolta, in 1955.
In a recent investigation for The Daily Beast exploring Cruise’s role as Scientology’s mascot over the years, journalist Tony Ortega wrote, “Tom Cruise’s value to Scientology is not as an executive, it is as an ornament. That’s always what celebrities have been: symbols. But he is the biggest celebrity and an incredibly important symbol for the church.
As the film dazzles viewers around the world, writes Ortega, Cruise’s star will once again overshadow his history with the church. “His popularity will be a huge boost to individual Scientologists, who will see the success of Top Gun: Maverick as a vindication of Scientology, even though the movie has nothing to do with it.
Given that Top Gun: Maverick has already delivered the biggest weekend opening of Cruise’s career at the box office, it looks like anyone hoping to have a real conversation about the religion he represents will be stuck in the wait again.