Entertainment

Sean Penn Blasts #MeToo Movement: ‘It’s Too Black and White’

The 'Gunman' and 'First Man' actor says nuance is missing, that men and women are being unintentionally divided

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“This is a movement that was largely shouldered by a kind of receptacle of the salacious,” said Sean Penn Monday morning about the #MeToo movement.

He shared his remarks in an interview on NBC’s “Today” show.

Penn has been a critic of the #MeToo movement in the past. A recent novel he wrote — titled “Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff” — included a poem that gained attention for its thoughts on the movement.

When asked what he meant by his “receptacle of salacious” comment, Penn expanded on his thoughts on the movement, which has exposed alleged sexual predators including Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey.

“Well, 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 actor said.

The “Gunman” and “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” actor then said that the movement thus far has had the unintended consequence of dividing men and women.

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“The spirit of much of what has been the #MeToo movement is to divide men and women,” the actor said.

Anchor Natalie Morales countered Penn’s thoughts by saying, “Women would say it’s uniting women.”

Penn, 58, did not budge from his position.

“I’m gonna say that [the] 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,” he said.

He continued, “I don’t want it to be a trend, and I’m very suspicious of a movement that gets glommed onto 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. I think it’s too black and white.”

“In most things that are very important, it’s really good to just slow down.”

The #MeToo movement has been good in the sense that it has exposed predators and made people far more aware of abuse going on — but it’s also become a “movement” that lacks thorough conversation and complex nuance.

To invite that nuance and conversation seems to make people an enemy.

When a movement is so laser-focused and partisan, it can be taken advantage of and used to divide people rather unite.

Penn was visiting “Today” to promote his new Hulu series, “The First.”

The show follows a fictional mission to the planet Mars. Check out the trailer for it below:

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