Reading Between the Lines on Sean Penn and Robin Wright's Different 'Ethical Views on Parenting'
Sean Penn is out promoting his new book, Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff, which no one asked for and no one wants to read and that is getting terrible reviews. It’s clear from interviews, however, that Sean Penn has entered the Full Brando stage of his career, by which I mean: He stopped giving a shit. Last night, he was on Ambien and smoking on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and even shared some of his incoherent, nonsensical views on Netflix, saying that movies are no longer intimate and special because of the streaming service (from Jezebel):
COLBERT: So you’re blaming this on Netflix.
COLBERT: ‘Cause they’re doing 700 shows this year. That’s a lot of content.
PENN: And probably paying off settlements for years.
COLBERT: Netflix is?
PENN: I would assume.
COLBERT: I don’t know what you mean. What do you mean? I took us down the Netflix path. I’m sorry that I did, but, what settlements are you talking about from Netflix?
PENN: Maybe we should move on.
I don’t really know what he’s trying to get at, but I assume the settlements he speaks of refers to Kevin Spacey, with whom Penn’s ex-wife, Robin Wright, worked on House of Cards. I would guess that Penn knows more about the Spacey situation than the public, although he concedes now that he barely talks to his ex-wife.
In fact, over on WTF with Marc Maron, Sean Penn got into his relationship with Robin Wright, specifically that they no longer talk to each other because of their differing “ethical” views on parenting.
We don’t have a lot of conversation. We don’t not get along.
“We have very separate relationships with our kids at this point and it’s better that way because they are making their own decisions. As it turned out she and I did not share the same ethical views on parenting, including the continuing parenting of adult children. It was better for her to be entirely whatever she is and available to them and they love their mother and they have that relationship and for me to be entirely available but … we’re always going to have conflicting ethics.”
If I were to try and read between the lines, I’d probably guess that what Sean Penn means is, “I’m an asshole, and my wife is not.” I am not, however, suggesting that “tough love” is the wrong approach. In fact, Hopper Penn — Sean and Robin’s 24-year-old son — credits his father’s tough love to him being able to kick an addiction to meth.
‘I was doing a lot of stuff but meth was the main one that brought me down. I went to rehab because I woke up in a hospital and my dad said, “Rehab? Or bus bench?” I was like, “I’ll take the bed.”’
Of course, Hopper also attributes his initial addiction problems to the tumultuous marriage of his parents.
I wouldn’t want to speculate any further, except to say that — based on the Instagram page of his daughter, Dylan — both children seem to be doing well and both still seem to have an affection for both parents. So maybe two approaches to parenting is good, so long as they do not co-exist.
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