The Oscar-winning director, and former member of Scientology told the Daily Beast website that he doesn't know how "journalists can call themselves journalists if they aren't brave enough to ask a question".
He asked rhetorically, "I mean, how big does the elephant in the room have to be before you ask about it?”
During his recent round of junkets, red carpets and interviews to promote the latest in the 'Mission: Impossible' series, Tom Cruise's people had made the stipulation that he wasn't to be asked questions about his private life, including his beliefs. Journalists going along with this to secure access to Cruise have evidently got Paul Haggis's goat.
"There are things called journalistic integrity, and there are things more important than promoting a movie sometimes,” Haggis said. “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.”
Paul Haggis's opinions come as Alex Gibney's documentary about the controversial religion 'Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief' finally gets a screening date on Sky Atlantic in the UK. It was previously shelved after not being cleared for transmission in Ireland.
Tom Cruise has not commented publicly on the film, which depicts him on stage with the Scientology leader David Miscavige, being feted as one of the religion's most important figures.
John Travolta, who is also a longtime follower, has commented on the film, saying, "I really don't have anything to say that would shed light on (a documentary) so decidedly negative."
Of Scientology, he said, "Forty years for me, I’ve been a part, and I’ve loved every minute of it. My family has done so well with it. It’s been a beautiful thing for me. I’ve saved lives with it and saved my own life several times. Through my loss of my son, it helped me every step of the way for two years solid, and here I am.”