Sean Penn has responded to the controversy stirred by a poem in his new book, Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff, in which he criticised the #MeToo movement.
When asked about the backlash by Conan O’Brien last Thursday night, Penn supplied enough rhetoric to give Kanye West a run for his money, before dropping the punchline: “I’m 57, my pool’s heated – you can say anything you like.”
Judging by the reviews Sean Penn has been receiving, his new book Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff is, at best, a vocabulary enigma. His unreserved (and often wrong) use of odd words puzzles the reader so much, it makes you wonder how many times he used Thesaurus while writing.
But that isn’t what people are angry about.
“And what’s with this ‘Me Too’?” writes the actor.
In the epilogue of Penn’s fictional novel, he pens a poem in which he seems to defend Louis C.K. and Charlie Rose and compares the #MeToo movement to a “toddlers’ crusade.”
After allegations of sexual harassment from eight women were brought to light in November, Rose apologised for what he called “inappropriate behaviour” and was fired by “CBS This Morning” and PBS.
Louis C.K. also apologised for sexual misconduct.
“There are no men nor women/only movements own the day/until movements morph to mayhem/and militaries chip away/whether North Korean missiles/or marching Tehran’s way/Where did all the laughs go?/Are you out there, Louis C.K.?”
The poem continues: “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 toddlers’ [sic] crusade?/Reducing rape, slut-shaming, and suffrage to reckless child’s play?/A platform for accusation impunity?”
Penn has not made any statements in response to this backlash yet, but many people including Cher are making it clear on Twitter that they are not happy about the poem (or his book).
— Cher (@thecherness) March 20, 2018
Pee is yellow
Poop is brown
But what if I was upside down?
Yellow poop and
That’s what would be inside of me.
– a better poem than Sean Penn’s
— amber ruffin (@ambermruffin) March 28, 2018
Sean Penn wrote a novel.
Is it any good?
“Riddle wrapped in an enigma and cloaked in crazy.”
“Dozens of linguistic traffic jams.”
“Induces something like Stockholm syndrome. You admire the novel just because you’re surviving it.”
Our review.https://t.co/SrcI8Fb8xy pic.twitter.com/XbpjYk6gRn
— Clifford Levy (@cliffordlevy) March 27, 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
Source: Chloe Melas/CNN
This article has been updated. The original version was published on UNRESERVED on 30 March 2018.