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Sean Penn Inexplicably Blows a Fuse Revisiting the Will Smith Oscars Slap

By Dustin Rowles | Celebrity | September 13, 2023 |

By Dustin Rowles | Celebrity | September 13, 2023 |


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As insufferable as Sean Penn might be, I do not begrudge his humanitarian efforts. He trips over his own feet sometimes, and he often centers himself too much in those efforts, but look: He’s not spending his time making Mint Mobile ads and buying soccer teams (not that there’s anything wrong with that). He genuinely saved lives after Katrina; he genuinely saved lives after an earthquake in Haiti; he was absolutely right about the war in Afghanistan; and he genuinely put his life at risk to document Russia’s war with Ukraine in his upcoming documentary, Superpower.

But, lord: He is insufferable.

To wit: In a weirdly fawning profile in Variety, Penn reveals that he’s the last person on the planet who still gives a damn about the Will Smith/Chris Rock slap. He blows a fuse because the Academy let Will Smith slap Chris Rock instead of allowing his friend Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to make an appearance (the Academy does a lot wrong; not featuring Zelenskyy during a Hollywood awards telecast is not among them).

From Variety:

“I don’t know Will Smith. I met him once,” Penn says. “He seemed very nice when I met him. He was so fucking good in ‘King Richard.’” He lights another in an unchained melody of American Spirit cigarettes. “So why the fuck did you just spit on yourself and everybody else with this stupid fucking thing? Why did I go to fucking jail for what you just did? And you’re still sitting there? Why are you guys standing and applauding his worst moment as a person?”

Someone pops a head in to make sure everything is OK. Penn waves them away. He is not done.

“This fucking bullshit wouldn’t have happened with Zelenskyy. Will Smith would never have left that chair to be part of stupid violence. It never would have happened.”

His anger with Will Smith may have some merit, but how does he make the journey from Zelensky appearing between prewritten patter delivered by celebrities to Will Smith slapping Chris Rock? Make it make sense!

Sean Penn is so mad about it that he’s decided to destroy his Oscars. “I thought, well, fuck, you know? I’ll give them to Ukraine. They can be melted down into bullets they can shoot at the Russians.”

And that’s how Sean Penn makes it impossible to root for him despite his intentions. That, plus two very weird sex slave analogies involving underage girls that he makes over the course of the interview with Variety.

What are you doing, Sean? Imagine how beloved he would be if he engaged in all of these humanitarian efforts and never spoke a word about them. Granted, he wouldn’t be that beloved — he’s still Sean Penn — but the public wouldn’t view his efforts with hostility.