For some reason (the reason probably being it’s Sean Penn we’re talking about), Sean Penn decided to give his thoughts on #MeToo and tell Natalie Morales he didn’t think women were advancing in TV production because of it. As you might imagine, that was met with about 50 heaping servings of “Sure, Jan.”
Sean has a new show, The First, on Hulu with Natascha McElhone (both seen above looking real happy about being colleagues!), and it’s all about a perilous mission to Mars. The show features many women in power, which is great and how shit should be! Alas, when he and Natascha were gabbing about it on Today, Sean – who’s been accused of being an abuser himself – told Natalie how he doesn’t think we should laud the movement since it is taking down too many people in its black-and-white depiction of sexual misconduct:
“I’d like to think that none of it was influenced by what they call the movement of #MeToo.I think it’s influenced by the things that are developing in terms of the empowerment of women who’ve been acknowledging each other and being acknowledged by men. This is a movement that was largely shouldered by a kind of receptacle of the salacious.”
This is rich coming from a man who was acknowledged as so terrible by Charlize Theron that she needed to ghost his ass (ok, maybe she didn’t…but let’s pretend like she did), but I digress. Natalie seemed ready to turn the interview into a Jerry Springer wrasslin’ match, and she asked him to elaborate. Sadly, he did:
“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 spirit of much of what has been the #MeToo movement is to divide men and women.”
It was after this that Sean said we need to just slow down, make things less black and white, and stop heckling people (like him) who raise the idea there are nuances. Somewhere, Ashleigh Banfield, who was only just beginning to cool down from verbally flogging the woman who tried to say her bad date with Asiz Ansari was in the same vein of Harvey Weinstein, just punched through a concrete block and got to writing tomorrow’s show opener about Sean. Natascha took his mansplaining and raised him a ladysplainin’ to Natalie:
“I think what Sean was maybe alluding to is this sort of bubble of actors or people who are in magazines that have gotten a lot of attention from this. Of course, it’s terrific that they’ve put a spotlight on it. But now, it’s we need to go to the places where this is happening behind closed doors, and it’s not exposed and those voices aren’t being heard.”
I don’t think that’s what Sean meant at all, but props to Natascha for recognizing her future Hulu checks might be jeopardy if Sean went too far off the rails!