Tom Cruise is no stranger to ruffling feathers, and he did just that during an appearance at Wal-Mart's annual shareholders meeting on June 7.

During the event, the 50-year-old "Oblivion" star described the retailer as "a role model for how business can address some of the biggest issues facing our world, in ways big and small." But the comment that really riled critics of the Arkansas-based chain was his assertion that Wal-Mart is "improving women's lives around the world."

That controversial claim -- for which Cruise has taken serious heat -- came just one year after 2,000 women filed a class-action lawsuit against Wal-Mart, alleging discrimination when it comes to pay and promotions, and only a few months after a Wal-Mart supplier's factory in Bangladesh collapsed and killed over 1,100 workers, mostly female. Wal-Mart hasn't signed on to an agreement aimed at improving conditions in the Bangladesh garment industry.

The Hollywood Reporter explains that Cruise likely appeared as part of Hollywood's overall bid to stay on Wal-Mart's good side, considering the retailer is responsible for approximately 40 percent of annual DVD sales and has the power to boost box-office performance.

Hugh Jackman, Jennifer Hudson, Kelly Clarkson, and John Legend also joined Cruise at the annual event, taking the stage to entertain the 14,000 attendees.

[via THR h/t HuffPost]
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categories Celebrity Gossip