Sean Penn Blasts Woke/Cancel Culture: “you wonder at some point if only Danish princes can play Hamlet”
Conan O’Brien: “This whole concept of cancel culture is, ‘we’ve found that someone did something in 1979 that is now not appropriate, they’re dead to us.’”
Hollywood has lunged into a suicidal downward spiral from which it likely cannot recover. From mandating “diversity” for its “best picture” Academy Awards selections to requiring a “sensitivity counselor” on movie sets, the motion picture industry is a big pile of wokeness on steroids.
It’s so bad that rather than accept that their tortured preachy product is neither entertaining nor escapist (what typical theater-goers seek in a movie), they blame the audience for being too misogynist to go see an all-female Ghostbusters or too racist to embrace the latest new black superhero film. The audience is the problem! These holier-than-thou Hollywood heavies are churning out woke pearls, but the unwashed swine just snort and turn away.
Not content to moan and whine about “diversity,” the more rabid leftists are now insisting that only fat women play fat women, that only trans actors portray trans people, and etc. And few actors are speaking out about this because they have to worry about ever working in the industry again (particularly if they happen to be white . . . and male).
Sean Penn is one actor, however, who is saying what everyone is probably thinking: this “ludicrous,” “Soviet”-style nonsense is “too restrictive.” He muses that one of his two Oscar-winning performances, that of gay politician Harvey Milk in Milk, would not be possible today because he’d never get the role in the first place.
Speaking on comedian Conan O’Brien’s podcast, Academy Award-winning actor Sean Penn said he thinks he would not be permitted today, by Hollywood’s woke standards, to play Harvey Milk in the 2008 film “Milk,” since Penn is a straight man. The real Milk was one of the first openly gay lawmakers.
“Today, almost certainly, I would not be permitted to be cast in that role [of Harvey Milk],” Penn said. “We’re living in a time where if you’re playing a gay lead character, you would have to be a gay man. And there have been these casting issues. In terms of finding the balance — you have a period of evolution that certainly has an opportunity for people who have had less opportunities to move forward, that has to be supported.”
“Milk” was a box office success, winning dozens of national film festival awards. For his role as the protagonist, Penn nabbed an Academy Award for best actor. Nonetheless, he described why Hollywood has fostered a culture that is problematic insofar as limiting who can play what role.
“And yet, in this pendulum-swinging society that we’re in, you wonder at some point if only Danish princes can play Hamlet. It is, I believe, too restrictive. People are looking for ‘gotcha’ moments and to criticize,” Penn said.
In addition to questioning the standards of who gets to be cast in a given role, O’Brien and Penn discussed cancel culture. Penn went so far as to call it “ludicrous” and “Soviet”-like.
On the podcast, Conan O’Brien also had some insightful things to say about our Woke New World.
O’Brien, who recently wrapped up his time as a late-night talk show host after almost three decades on two networks, had Penn on his podcast, “Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend,” where the duo’s chat led them to discuss cancel culture and the public’s somewhat new tendency to write off potentially promising people over past comments.
“I’ve always described myself, I think I’m a 52% optimist,” O’Brien explained. “I do believe that everything that’s happened in the last year is going to inform us in the best way and is going to have a very valuable impact on the arts and is going to make things better and more inclusive. I believe in all that.”
He continued: “This whole concept of cancel culture is, ‘we’ve found that someone did something in 1979 that is now not appropriate, they’re dead to us.’”
. . . . O’Brien then noted that he feels “uncomfortable” when he believes that people like them in the public eye are being put into boxes by people telling them to have a certain viewpoint or promote a certain cause at a certain time or risk being on the wrong side of history.
“I always find it confusing because if I do something performative that everyone else is doing, it looks almost like I’m trying to get praise for having just a moral belief, which really makes me uncomfortable,” he explained.
O’Brien concluded: “The nuance can get bled out of things. I get uncomfortable when I think that everyone is getting an email that says ‘this is the thing that everyone should say today, especially if you’re in the public eye.’”
We’re all uncomfortable being told what is acceptable to say, even to feel and think in the privacy of our own hearts and minds, and if Hollywood doesn’t catch on to that very simple fact, they are going to find an ever-shrinking audience for their tedious, joyless, humorless, woke-soaked, and self-righteous visual manifestos.DONATE
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