Sean Penn can relate to Angelina Jolie.
Both are A-list celebrities and Oscar winners. Both have also gotten deeply involved in humanitarian causes, and yet somehow face criticism for doing so.
In January, the actor brought 11 doctors to Haiti, helping to establish a private relief organization for the earthquake-ravaged nation.
But many cynics out there have argued that Penn ought to avoid such endeavors because they think he’s doing it solely for positive PR. Moreover, they find it hypocritical for a star to complain about an injustice… and then return to his mansion.
To these critics, in an interview with CBS News’ Sunday Morning, Penn said:
“I haven’t had an awful lot of time to pay attention to them. You know, do I hope that those people die screaming of rectal cancer? Yeah. You know, but I’m not going to spend a lot of energy on it.”
We love the response.
Why? We wrote a similar defense of Jolie last month, but look: even if you wish to believe that these stars take part in charitable causes simply because it makes them look good (and you have zero evidence to back this up; it’s solely a decision to be cynical)… who cares?!?
They still are donating their time and their money. The homeless in Haiti are still better off for their efforts. Aren’t these results the most important thing?
In an age in which Snooki and Kim Kardashian are worshiped just because they have big breasts and appear on TV, it’s nice to see Penn, Jolie and others actually do something positive with their celebrity. They don’t just spout talking points and hollow cliches (hi, Sarah Palin). They take action.
If you choose to attach a hidden agenda to these actions, we don’t hope you die from cancer. But we do pity you.