Sean Penn: #MeToo movement is not honest

Sean Penn

Sean Penn has said thinks the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment is “not intellectually honest”.

The actor also described the initiative – which went viral in October on social media to demonstrate the prevalence of harassment in the workplace following a number of allegations against the likes of film producer Harvey Weinstein – as “a movement led by mania”.

Penn told The Guardian’s Weekend magazine: “I don’t ever want to be in a movement. I don’t trust any movement.

“The anti-war movement did not sustain. We’re back in wars.”

He was quoted as saying that he thinks #MeToo is full of “self-aggrandisement and venting”.

The double Oscar-winner also defended Charlie Rose, a TV newsreader and journalist who was fired from US programme CBS This Morning in November over allegations of sexual misconduct.

“He says one thing happened; other people said another thing happened,” Penn said.

“I wasn’t there. What I do think is we maybe should be very careful; for example, are we now going to say we will never celebrate Thomas Jefferson again: slave holder, that’s all you are?

“Charlie Rose provided one of the only sophisticated dialogue programmes, and I don’t know what the percentages are, but I know that there are some lies that have been told publicly about people; I know of some serious omissions.”

He added: “I’m talking about women towards men.”

Penn, 57, also told the magazine that he thinks his ex-wife Madonna would not be a fan of his recently-published debut novel about an international assassin who kills elderly people with a mallet, Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff.

The Hollywood star, who was married to the singer from 1985 to 1989, said: “I think if she was reading it, she’d say, ‘ugh, I’ll read this some other time’.”

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