Monday, February 23, 2009

Sean Penn and 'hatred and shame'

Producers tried to change things up a little at last night's Oscars after the one of the worst ratings in history last year. One of the nice changes was the way in which they presented the major acting awards.

Instead of one or two reciting the nominees and the predictable clips of each to follow, five previous winners of each category were on stage. Each would say something about that nominee and their role and why they deserved the accolades, not that each ego-centric Hollywood star needs any more public adulation, but you get the idea.

It seemed to work.

What looked to be a refreshing change didn't quite make it. It looked like it was going to be a political-free-Oscar-statement night. Of course, one reason was there's a Democract in the White House so no need to rip into Bush.

But then Sean Penn scored a mild upset over Mickey Rourke when he won Best Actor for playing slain gay-rights pioneer Harvey Milk in "Milk." I happen to think Penn is a terrific actor, one of the top two or three working, but he wears his politics and his opinions on his sleeve.

Penn gleefully told the crowd: "You commie, homo-loving sons of guns." Must have taken great restraint to say "guns."

He followed with condemnation of anti-gay protesters who demonstrated near the Oscar site and comments about California's recent vote to ban gay marriage.

"For those who saw the signs of hatred as our cars drove in tonight, I think it's a good time for those who voted for the ban against gay marriage to sit and reflect on their great shame and their shame in their grandchildren's eyes if they continue that support," Penn said. "We've got to have equal rights for everyone."

I thought peaceful civil protest was one of the fundamental rights in this country. How many times has Penn spoken out against this government and its policies? Plenty, I'm sure, which is his right. But odd when protests don't agree with his point of view that it becomes "hatred and shame."

1 comment:

R. Spacedark said...

The protesters were from Westboro Baptist Church, also infamous for picketing soldiers' funerals.

Refresh my memory. Did you rise to defend these guys when they showed up here to do that?