Sean Penn’s controversial new book has already made headlines for seemingly taking aim at President Trump — and now another portion which references the #MeToo movement has landed him in hot water.
The 59-year-old actor waded in on the conversation surrounding the movement to end sexual harassment in the workplace and beyond via a poem at the end his first fictional book, titled Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff. In the novel’s epilogue, the poem namechecks Louis C.K. and Charlie Rose as men negatively affected by sexual harassment allegations against them, and asks if it was all worth it.
“Where did all the laughs go?/Are you out there, Louis C.K.?/Once crucial conversations/Kept us on our toes;/Was it really in our interest/To trample Charlie Rose?” part of the poem reads. “And what’s with this ‘Me Too’?/This infantilizing term of the day…/Is this a toddler’s crusade?/Reducing rape, slut-shaming, and suffrage to reckless child’s play?”
Reviews for Penn’s novel have been largely negative. The Washington Post wrote that Penn should “never quit his day job,” while The New York Times observed that the book eventually “induces something like Stockholm syndrome — you admire the novel just because you’re surviving it.”
And now Twitter has weighed in on the #MeToo portion, and the reactions have been similarly harsh.
“anyone who ever gave sean penn a compliment is complicit in this and should be in prison,” tweeted Huffington Post writer Ashley Feinberg.
The Guardian‘s Peter Bradshaw said, “My new theory is that Sean Penn wrote a deliberately laughable novel to distract attention from the more serious scandal of his poisonous #MeToo poem.”
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The Oscar-winner’s book is an expanded version of his 2016 audiobook of the same name, which he claimed was written by a mysterious figure named Poppy Pariah.
The novel version of the audiobook, which was released on Tuesday, loses the Pariah backstory and adds a few chapters to the short but complicated tale of a disaffected divorcé named Bob Honey who works as a part-time assassin and septic tank salesman.
Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff is available now.