Sean Penn offered some criticisms of the #MeToo movement in a Today show interview on Monday, calling the movement divisive.
Penn was appearing on NBC alongside Natascha McElhone, his co-star in a new Hulu series The First, about a space expedition to Mars.
NBC interviewer Natalie Morales asked the pair if the strong female characters in the show were informed by the #MeToo movement.
“Yeah, and for me in life, that’s not unusual,” McElhone said. “I don’t see that as aberrant. I get that in TV and in a lot of our media women haven’t been depicted in that way, and I find that deeply disturbing.”
Penn disagreed: “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,” he continued. “This is a movement that was largely shouldered by a kind of receptacle of the salacious.”
“Well, we don’t know what’s a fact in many of the cases,” Penn said. “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,” he said.
“Women would say it’s united women,” Morales contended.
“I’m gonna say that 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.”
“I don’t want it to be a trend, and I’m very suspicious of a movement that gets glommed on to in great stridency and rage and without nuance,” he continued. “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,” he said. “In most things that are very important, it’s really good to just slow down.”
Watch above, via NBC.
[image via screengrab]
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