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Not putting my money where my mouth is

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Boycott Sean PennI’ve decided that I have to start talking with my wallet when it comes to actors who parade political views which I consider idiotic. Here’s a quote for you:

“I’m a believer that society has to deal with the issue of how this (President Bush’s) administration oppresses people in (the U.S.) and in other countries. If they take away people’s hopes and beliefs, (these oppressed people) will do something.”

That was Sean Penn, at the Toronoto Film Festival yesterday.

Whether one agrees or disagrees with our going to war in Iraq, does any sane person really believe that the intent is to oppress the citizens of that country? I can understand people who think we went there for the oil, or just to depose Saddam, but oppression?

And people being oppressed in the U.S.? Like who, Penn and his multi-millionare allies who spout whatever political commentary they want without penalty? Like the thousands of demonstrators at the RNC?

Try that in any of those countries that we’re supposedly oppressing and see where you’d end up. Either prison or a hole in the ground, that’s where. I am truly flabbergasted by comments like this, and I’ve had it.

Regular readers of my ScreenRant.com site probably know that I’m a huge Sci Fi and action movie fan, but let me tell ya, there could be a “Terminator 4″ or “Alien 5″ announced tomorrow, but if Penn was going to be in one of those, I would not watch it at the theater, buy it, or even rent it on DVD, no matter how excellent I might hear the movie might be.

I applied this rule long ago to any movie by Roman Polanski (for different reasons), regardless of whether it wins an Oscar or not, but I see that now my “do not watch” list must be expanded further.

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About Vic

  • http://www.juicedthoughts.com Bryan

    I agree. These actors financially need to take a hit to get the message across that they cannot abuse their power in the spotlight as a way to spout off their political views.

    I don’t have a problem with celebrities expressing their political views, but christ, there is a time and place for it.

    Like that woman in Vegas who people went to see to be entertained and she spouts off her political anti-bush statements and got boo’ed off stage, or Michael Moores rant at the oscars. Its one thing to have a political view, but its another to abuse your power and privilege in the media to get those views across to millions of people.

    You and I don’t have that luxury. We have blogs, but thats not the same as the media.

    Celebs and other power entertainers just don’t get it.

    And there is NO backlash from the community on their comments. If Madonna lost $20 million a year from lack of sales that were directly related to her comments, then I am sure that would shut her up pretty damn quick. What about Cristina Raines (sp?) from the Dick Chicks (sorry Dixi). She felt quite a bit of aftermath from her comments, and that was WELL before the political elections. Hell, I think that was in early 2003 or late 2002, but I could be wrong.

    Just my 2 cents.

  • Antfreeze

    Yeah, the NERVE of those people having opinions about stuff! And the gall to actually disagree with you too, unbelievable.

  • boomcrashbaby

    Whether one agrees or disagrees with our going to war in Iraq, does any sane person really believe that the intent is to oppress the citizens of that country?

    I read Sean’s comment that you quoted. Nowhere in it does he say that Bush’s intent is to oppress. What he says is that oppression is happening, he says nothing about it being intentional. With that, I would be in 100% agreement with Sean, and would think that you will miss out on some fine acting and some great movies because of your misinterpretation. But that is your loss, not mine.

  • Eric Olsen

    Thanks SR, Penn is a bonafide idiot as far as I can tell. I have very mixed feelings about the boycott approach: yes, a concerted boycott might hit a performer in the wallet, although even Clear Channel and other administration-pandering radio chains didn’t seem to be able to do much to he Dixie Chicks, but in my mind I try to separate the performer/artist from the personal opinions, if that is possible (which it sometimes isn’t for singers who preach from the stage and on their recordings, for example).

    In the case of Penn, I have liked him sometimes very much as an actor, but also not at all almost as often. He seems to pick projects that feels are “artistic” but are often just lugubrious shit.

    I wish there was some other public way of expressing disapproval of the opinions of artists without interfering with their work. But I don’t have that answer.

  • boomcrashbaby

    I wish there was some other public way of expressing disapproval of the opinions of artists without interfering with their work. But I don’t have that answer.

    The most liberal part of the gay community often calls for boycotts of companies who’s board members or similiar help fund anti-gay legislation. It got to a point where when we went shopping, we needed to make a list of products to skip over – no Coors (which tastes bad anyway), no getting gas at ExxonMobil, no Mel Gibson movies, etc. etc. It’s impossible to keep track of it all.

    How about this? Let’s let all Americans have an ideology of their own, and if it differs with ours we don’t need to shun their products. We can no longer accept diversity and the difference of opinions?

    The alternative is to have two of everything. Two shopping malls, side by side, where one sells products made by conservative groups and one sells products made by liberal groups, etc. It’s crazy. “Excuse me, but I don’t like who you want for President, so I don’t want to purchase your item”. Sounds silly when put that way doesn’t it?

  • Adam Bloom

    Soooo… anyone who has lots of people listening to them should shut the **** up? Does that apply to politicians too?

  • http://www.resonation.ca Jim Carruthers

    Hey, maybe you could have a Congressional Committee hearing, and anybody who didn’t want to testify about their opinions or beliefs, especially if you disagreed with them, you could put them on some sort of list ensuring they couldn’t write, direct or appear in movies.

    Y’know you could call it a Black List, because obviously somebody who has an opinion is obviously Un-American.

    Sweet Jumped Up Jeebus on a pogo-stick, is there something in the water making people in the States more stupid?

    Actors are actors, they pretend to be what they aren’t! If you are going to judge what movies you watch based on your opinion of his opinion as reported in the media, then you are going to be watching nothing but shit. And probably liking it.

  • http://screenrant.com Vic

    Jim,

    Wow, so it’s OK for Penn to express his negative opinions about the current administration and want it voted out of office, but if I express my negative opinions about him and want to vote not to watch his films… I’m stupid?

    Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. Care to explain that one? Let’s see… he’s an actor, so he’s more qualified to render an opinion? Or maybe because he’s famous, or rich, and I’m just a lowly blogger.

    I’m amazed at how the left can say whatever the hell they want, but if someone on the other side says something equivalent… watch out.

    And that’s quite a leap you make, from my exercising my right not to line the wallet of someone I disagree with to not allowing them to make films.

    Thanks for putting words in my mouth.

    Vic

  • Eric Olsen

    that’s what Penn said to the screenwriter

  • http://www.resonation.ca Jim Carruthers

    Well, if Sean Penn had a one-man show, I fully support your choice not to see it. But to say, I won’t see a movie because some media outlet published something I disagree with from one of a couple of hundred people involved, well, that’s just plain stupid. You weren’t here in TO, were you? You didn’t hear what Penn said? You’re just relying on gossip, the same chain that results in me saying, you, “Screen Rant likes fucking while wearing a Richard Nixon mask like in The Ice Storm” (go ahead, deny it, we all know you like wearing a Richard Nixon mask while engaging in intercourse, in a motel in Intercourse, PA).

    But if you want to act like a fool, go for it, just don’t expect me to celebrate it. I always thought it was about the movie, not the actor (and if that gets you going, wait til I tell you about Rock Hudson).

    And if what you say makes you appear stupid, well, oh why am I bothering? Your initial point was “I’m an idiot, he am saying something I don’t like, me not like him”. You’ve proved your point.

  • http://screenrant.com Vic

    What a typical hallmark of the left: Ad Hominem attacks.

    As I started to read your comment I actually thought you made a valid point concerning the one-man show vs hundreds of people impacted. Something which I admit had not occured to me.

    But then you veer off into a vicious personal attack as is typical of folks like you.

    For your information, I got the statement from both Reuters and Variety, not from rumour.

    As to the rest of your diatribe. I’m restraining myself from replying in a manner that drops me to your level, although it would certainly make me feel better, you sanctimonius prick.

    Oops.

    Vic

  • boomcrashbaby

    I’m amazed at how the left can say whatever the hell they want, but if someone on the other side says something equivalent… watch out.

    Vic, one voice from the left does not equate with the left. I’m from the left and my response was different than Jim’s.

    What made me get my opinion about boycotts was the Southern Baptists boycott of Disney for acknowledging the existance of gay people. As far as I know, the boycott is still going on and quite a few years old now.

    Disney has consistently turned profits throughout their boycott, and still never changed their opinion that gay people are consumers too. The end result is that a lot of kids of the Southern Baptists are deprived of some great Disney movies/attractions/rides, NONE of which promote homosexuality and we all go on. The boycott didn’t do a thing except deprive a lot of religious kids of some great entertainment.

    So I’d say, if the boycott makes your conscience at ease, then do it. If you think your boycott will affect a company in this global marketplace, then I’d agree with Jim and say it’s stupid.

  • http://www.resonation.ca Jim Carruthers

    sanctimonius prick

    Isn’t he a fwend of Biggus Dickus?

  • http://screenrant.com Vic

    Boom, of course I don’t think my insignificant movie ticket price makes a difference, but that doesn’t mean I have to contribute. Sorry if you felt lumped in with my statement, yours was a level-headed and logical response.

    It’s just been my experience that overall, the gut-level-emotional response is much more common than a reasoned counterpoint as given by yourself.

    I’ve seen your comments before and I don’t recall your reacting in such a way. I usually try to be reasonable myself, but unfortunately I have a hard time restraining myself when provoked.

    I’m certainly not above admitting when I’m wrong, but sarcasm and personal attacks certainly won’t change my mind about anything. Posts like yours can.

    Vic

  • http://screenrant.com Vic

    Ha. :-)

    So Jim, what is it about the internet that makes mostly reasonable people act like rude boneheads? (I am including myself in that category, before you take offense).

    Vic

  • boomcrashbaby

    I usually try to be reasonable myself, but unfortunately I have a hard time restraining myself when provoked

    I can relate.

    Boom, of course I don’t think my insignificant movie ticket price makes a difference, but that doesn’t mean I have to contribute.

    Of course nobody has to contribute. It’s entertainment, one should only spend on what they find entertaining. If an entertainer’s ideology interferes with the enjoyment then by all means, boycott. To some degree, I won’t see a Mel Gibson movie for his ideology but mostly because his stuff is all trash to me, even before I found out he thought the pope was as liberal as RuPaul. I hope that Penn was an example and that you didn’t spend any money on him before he spoke his ideology because the man is as annoying and unfunny as cancer.

  • boomcrashbaby

    sanctimonius prick

    Isn’t he a fwend of Biggus Dickus?

    Who knows? Neither one will return my calls.

  • http://screenrant.com Vic

    …because the man is as annoying and unfunny as cancer.

    Well yeah, there’s that too. :-)

    Vic

  • http://www.resonation.ca Jim Carruthers

    I could understand your not wanting to see a movie featuring Sean Penn because you didn’t like his character, in say, “Sweet and Low Down”. But considering what a good actor Penn is, not wanting to see a movie featuring him because of something reported from what he said out of context, is like putting your fingers in your ears going “la la la” and dancing outside of the theatre in protest — crazy and stupid. When did willful ignorance become such a value in the States?

    Judge the art and the artist on their merits, not on your perceptions. Otherwise you are just being a fool who takes pride in how little they know.

  • boomcrashbaby

    I pretty much agree with you Jim. I think Mel Gibson is the only one who I avoid based on ideology, but if he came out with a movie that looked really really good to me, then I’d probably watch it, so I don’t really think I have a ‘boycott’, per se.

    But here’s an interesting thought for all those who want their entertainers to share their political ideologies…turn the tables around. If there was an entertainer who you thought was so-so. Then one day they speak their political mind very adamantly and it happens to be the ideology that you agree with. Are you then more likely to enjoy their work from then on? Or is it only those you disagree with?

  • http://www.resonation.ca Jim Carruthers

    Never mind what an entertainer has to say, how about what they _do_?

    If you watch a movie like “Naked Gun” with O.J. Simpson or “Lost Highway” with Robert Blake, do you endorse murdering your spouse, or murder in general?

    After all, the original post did slam Polanski, without saying why. Is it because he was instrumental in getting Charlie Manson put in prison? Manson is big on decrying decadence and the evils of liberal society. After all, there’s no bigger advocate of Family values.

  • boomcrashbaby

    Never mind what an entertainer has to say, how about what they _do_?

    I agree, Jim. That guy who played the teacher on Ferris Beuller is about as right-wing as they come, but I still love watching that show and think he was perfect for the part. Not everybody can do that.

  • http://screenrant.com Vic

    Jim,

    Re-read my post. I did not “slam Polanski”, I simply said that I will not see movies made by him. The reason is because he is a pedophile.

    You may also notice that I did not call Penn an idiot, I said he “parades political views which I consider idiotic.” I attacked his behaviour, not him personally. You might say that’s splitting hairs, but IMO there is a difference.

    While you on the other hand, have called me a fool, and idiot, made a reference to how I have sex. In addition to this, I have a hard time finding a comment where you do not resort to sarcasm, as opposed to simply defending your point of view.

    Once again, any valid points you might have are lost via your method of delivery.

    You’re starting to remind me of MD.

    Vic

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