Their movies have grossed over $2.5 billion worldwide--that's not the issue.
The issue is Cruise's "controversial and sometimes erratic behavior of the past year," such as stumping for the Church of Scientology and severely criticizing the use of psychiatry and antidepressant drugs, which happen to be quite popular in Hollywood. Oh, and the jumping on Oprah's couch thing to proclaim his love for Katie Holmes, who has since become the mother of his child (?), but not his wife.
Viacom Chairman Sumner Redstone: "As much as we like him personally, we thought it was wrong to renew his deal. His recent conduct has not been acceptable to Paramount."
According to Wagner, negotiations on a new deal have fizzled and the duo is leaving Paramount of their own accord having already secured $100 million in private funding for upcoming films.
Paula Wagner: "For some reason, Paramount has chosen to negotiate in the press. It's not the most businesslike approach. We've had virtually no dealings with Mr. Redstone, For us, this is a new and exciting direction. We look forward to working with all the studios.
"Whatever remarks Mr. Redstone would make about Tom Cruise personally
or as an actor have no bearing on what this business issue is. There
must be another agenda that the studio has in mind to take one of their
greatest assets and malign him this way."
Agent Rick Nicita: "What this says about Paramount is self-evident. It was graceless and it was shocking and offensive."