Sean Penn seems to never stop talking, and if you accidentally find yourself agreeing with one thing he said, you need only wait for the next dollop of unasked-for wisdom to drop like a turd from his mouth. In a new interview with The Independent, Penn decided to launch an unprovoked attack on the trans community, bizarrely claiming that “cowardly genes” have left modern men “feminized.”
Penn was promoting his latest flick, Flag Day, alongside his co-star and real-life daughter, Dylan. “I think that men have, in my view, become quite feminized,” he said. “I have these very strong women in my life who do not take masculinity as a sign of oppression toward them. There are a lot of, I think, cowardly genes that lead to people surrendering their jeans and putting on a skirt.” At this, interviewer James Mottram noted that Dylan became quiet and stared off into space.
The comments were a follow-up to another rant in iNews from earlier this month. Penn opined, “I am in the club that believes that men in American culture have become wildly feminized… I don’t think that [in order] to be fair to women, we should become them.”
Penn won his second Oscar for portraying Harvey Milk, the first openly-gay elected official, in 2008’s Milk. But over the last decade-plus he’s become interested in more traditional displays of masculinity, recently playing a lascivious filmmaker in Licorice Pizza, starring opposite Mel Gibson in The Professor and the Madman, and casting himself as a con artist with a strained relationship to his daughter in Flag Day.
Earlier this month, the 61-year-old Penn said, “I’m glad I’m old and won’t be having to deal with” where the world is headed. Last year, he demanded mandatory vaccinations for everyone on set of his Starz drama Gaslit, and in 2018 he disparaged the #MeToo movement, saying it “divides men and women.”