There was a time when Tom Cruise’s new movie, “American Made,” was a lot more controversial.
The satirical look at the life of Barry Seal, who made a lucrative career being a cocaine and gun runner in the 1980s, once featured a scene where Bill Clinton is found in a Arkansas strip club getting a lap dance.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, a scene cut before shooting had Seal, played by Cruise, coming up with an idea to enlist Clinton, then the governor of Arkansas, in a CIA-backed scheme. The scene would have been set in a strip club and featured an actor playing young Clinton getting a lap dance.
Seal’s operation of drug running for the Medellín cartel and moving guns and money for the CIA was based in Mena, Arkansas, where he had a large private airfield. During this time, Clinton was governor of the state.
Clinton does not get off scot-free in the movie. There is a scene in which Seal is arrested by numerous law enforcement branches but suddenly is let off the hook when Clinton calls the district attorney’s office. But Clinton is not portrayed by an actor, and we never hear the Clinton character on the phone.
A source told THR the Clinton strip club scene was taken out to keep the movie from being political.
Business Insider contacted the production company behind the movie, Cross Creek Pictures, for comment but did not get an immediate response.
Universal opens “American Made” in theaters on Friday.