With the growing clamour of sexual harassment cases in the glamour world, a serious discussion has been ongoing on social media platforms about whether art can be separated from the artist. When cases against talented stars like Roman Polanski, Kevin Spacey and others came to light, many highlighted how their brilliant work shouldn’t overpower their misconducts. Joining the discussion is actor-director Sean Penn, who was adored by fans for his brilliant creations — right from I am Sam to Into the Wild.
The actor-turned-novelist penned down his thoughts about the #MeToo movement in a poem as an epilogue to his new book, Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff, in which he ridiculed the serious campaign and wrote: “Is this a toddler’s crusade?” Soon after, he received a lot of flak online from his fans and followers after he frowned upon the poignant and powerful campaign in his book.
Not just that he went on to defend those involved in various sexual harassment cases — Charlie Rose and Louis CK. Both have been accused of serious sexual misconduct, in which CK acknowledged that the accusations levied against him were true.
In his poem, Penn ponders, “Though warrior women / Bravely walk the walk, / Derivatives of disproportion / Draw heinous hypocrites / To their flock. / Where did all the laughs go? / Are you out there Louis C.K.? / Once crucial conversations / Kept us on our toes / Was it really in our interest / To trample Charlie Rose? / And what’s with this ‘Me Too’? / This infantilizing term of the day… / Is this a toddler’s crusade? / Reducing rape, slut-shaming, and suffrage to reckless child’s play? A platform for accusation impunity / Due process has lost its sheen? / But f**k it, what me worry? / I’m a hero, / To Time Magazine!”
ICYMI. But how *could* you:
“Are you out there, Louis C.K.?
Once crucial conversations
Kept us on our toes;
Was it really in our interest
To trample Charlie Rose?
And what’s with this ‘Me Too’?
This infantilizing term of the day…
Is this a toddler’s crusade…” 🙄 #SeanPenn http://t.co/acSupqRClb
— Ishay Govender-Ypma (@IshayGovender) March 28, 2018
And that did not go down well with the people on social media. As soon as the excerpts of his poem were made public, it created a huge stir on Twitter. While some slammed him for his ignorance, others thought it was a great example of “mansplaining”. Many also thought Penn’s sexist poem is a reflection of his past actions, especially surrounding Madonna. Many poets too deemed his poem as an example of “bad taste”. Sample these:
Sean Penn, I’ve just read your poem, I am outraged.
“And what’s with this ‘Me Too’?/This infantilizing term of the day/Is this a toddler’s crusade?/Reducing rape, slut-shaming, and suffrage to reckless child’s play?”
As a lover of poetry, obviously. Man that’s dogshyte cadence
— Mark_IKN (@IKN_Mark) March 30, 2018
I guess we now know what Sean Penn thinks of women and “it’s a man’s world”. Maybe he just needs to watch “Me Too” and “Times Up” a little longer. There are people who need a little more time to learn. #MeToo #TimesUp
— It Matters (@Earnest_One) March 29, 2018
— Wade Davis II (@Wade_Davis28) March 30, 2018
Sean Penn’s book, “Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff,” attacks the #MeToo movement.
But a high school drop-out who savagely beat Madonna with a bat and snorts coke off a hooker has to be an expert on feminism.
— Alex Kaseberg (@AlexKaseberg) March 30, 2018
while ya’ll joke tweeting about crazy ol sean penn, don’t forget his well-documented history of abuse & violent behavior thanks!
— SalesOnFilm (@salesonfilm) March 28, 2018
I rewrote Sean Penn’s sexist #MeToo poem:
Though this whiny man
Thinks it’s brave to talk and talk
Penn’s derivative literary dreams
Ensure he’s a heinous hypocrite
Who needs to shut the F up.
— Jason Sanford (@jasonsanford) March 28, 2018
just another white guy tellin it like it is. can’t wait till Sean Penn gets into standup then immediately starts blaming his lack of success on women.
— levi (@LeviMcCachen) March 30, 2018
WOW I WAS WAITING FOR A WHITE MAN’S OPINION ON #METOO AND SEAN PENN, NOTORIOUS ABUSER, DELIVERS. Everyone go home now, sexism is over, dumb ass Sean Penn just saved all women with his wisdom pic.twitter.com/Af3k2np171
— r c (@corruptmillion) March 29, 2018
— NotWearingMarchesa (@MayorMaccaNot) March 28, 2018
Type “I, a man” then hit the middle autofill button on your keyboard until you’ve reached 90,000 words, congratulations you’re Sean Penn.
— Caspar Salmon (@CasparSalmon) March 29, 2018
— Ashley Feinberg (@ashleyfeinberg) March 27, 2018
I just can’t imagine any possible reason why Establishment Hollywood Filmmaker Sean Penn might harbor hatred towards the Me Too movement.
If only there was some clue why an Establishment Hollywood Filmmaker might not like Me Too
It’s an enigma. I guess we’ll never know.
— Jasha Fierce CW:Depression🐮 (@transfilmtheory) March 28, 2018
— Charlotte Lydia Riley (@lottelydia) March 28, 2018
— #ProbeDuterte 🔍 for Extrajudicial Killings (@yellowthinks_) March 30, 2018
Reading this atrocious poem about Me Too that Sean Penn put in his book… remind me. He’s a domestic abuser, no? Paparazzi aside, it’s commonly accepted he beat Madonna more than once right? Does THAT get touched on anywhere while he’s proudly admiring these courageous women? http://t.co/fGwIIfzEgn
— St. Sluggo, Space Force Actual (@SaintSluggo) March 28, 2018
— Jane Purcell (@Freelancemum) March 28, 2018
— Cher (@thecherness) March 20, 2018
What are your thoughts about the entire fiasco? Tell us in the comments below.