Excerpts of Sean Penn’s new book, Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff has caused ripples in the digital and literary worlds.
The satirical book includes commentary about current affairs, including Donald Trump.
However, the end of his novel features a long poem which appears to disparage #MeToo.
The poem is understood to have a protagonist, which calls the #MeToo movement “an infantilising term of the day”. It asks:
Is this a toddler’s crusade?
Reducing rape, slut-shaming, and suffrage to reckless child’s play?
A platform for accusation impunity?
Due process has lost its sheen?
The poem also mentions Louis C.K., lamenting, "Where did all the laughs go?" In November the comedian admitted that the sexual misconduct allegations levelled against him were true, prompting the release of his new film I Love You, Daddy to be cancelled and HBO to sever ties.
However, the poem seems to have struck off key and critics have found Penn's prose to be in poor taste.
indy100 reached out to feminist organisation We Level Up to get their thoughts on the poem.
Bryony Walker, campaign director, told us:
Nobody asked for Sean Penn's perspective on #MeToo. This is a man who's hired expensive lawyers to shield himself from accusations from domestic violence and sued people who call him out.
#MeToo is not for you, it's about you.
We do not want to hear your perspective, or your naff poetry.
Communications manager for Scotland’s feminist organisation EnGender, Alys Mumford, shared Walker’s sentiments, and told indy100:
We’re tired of men using their celebrity platform to unleash tired clichés, unfounded criticisms and terrible poems onto the world.
The #MeToo movement has been a powerful tool to shine a light on abuse of women in Hollywood, and so it’s not surprising that some men in the film industry seem keen to deny its relevance to them.