The actor sat down for an interview with Today’s Natalie Morales to promote his new show, The First, alongside series co-star Natasha McElhone, per Page Six. The interview, which aired Monday, got sidetracked after McElhone said something about #MeToo and how she feels it has informed her character and Penn got mad, calling the #MeToo movement “too black and white” and “salacious.”
“I’d like to think that none of [the show] was influenced by what they call the movement of #MeToo…”
“…I think it’s influenced by the things that are developing in terms of the empowerment of women who’ve been acknowledging each other and being acknowledged by men. This is a movement that was largely shouldered by a kind of receptacle of the salacious.”
This is all super in-line with what Penn’s said about #MeToo in the past. Earlier this year, he told The Guardian that #MeToo is “intellectually dishonest” and “a movement led by mania,” and his debut novel (?) ends with a poem (??) defending Charlie Rose (???) tand Louis C.K. (????).
McElhone asked Penn to clarify what he meant when he called #MeToo “salacious.”
“We don’t know what’s a fact in many of the cases… ‘Salacious’ is as soon as you call something a movement that is really a series of many individual accusers, victims, accusations, some of which are unfounded. The spirit of much of what has been the #MeToo movement is to divide men and women.”
McElhone, who must be very patient and hopefully highly paid, countered that #MeToo is not dividing men and women but uniting women, to which Penn said:
“I’m gonna say that women that I talk to—not in front of a camera, that I listen to, of all walks of life—that there’s a common sense that is not represented at all in the discussion when it comes to the media discussion of it, the discussion where ‘if Sean Penn says this, so and so’s going to attack him for saying this, because of that.’ …I don’t want it to be a trend, and I’m very suspicious of a movement that gets glommed on to in great stridency and rage and without nuance. And even when people try to discuss it in a nuanced way, the nuance itself is attacked.”
Not to lack nuance, but Sean Penn…………shut up.