A funny thing happened when Oscar winner Sean Penn took aim at the #MeToo movement.
In today’s hyper sensitive age, “nothing” is funny, at least not in the “ha ha” sense.
Penn spoke out recently against a movement which took down Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Louis CK and other high profile men in the entertainment business.
That simple act typically inspires fierce blowback.
Just ask Matt Damon. The Bourne superstar dared to say the movement conflated predators like disgraced Sen. Al Franken, accused of groping numerious women and Weinstein, who allegedly raped multiple starlets.
That caused a firestom of rebuttals. Damon quickly apologized.
“I love them and respect them and support what they’re doing and want to be a part of that change and go along for that ride,” he said. “(But) I should get in the backseat and close my mouth for a while.”
Norm Macdonald also questioned the movement, saying he was happy to see its power fade.
I’m happy the #MeToo movement has slowed down a little bit (emphasis added). It used to be, “One hundred women can’t be lying.” And then it became, “One woman can’t lie.” And that became, “I believe all women.” And then you’re like, “What?” Like, that Chris Hardwick guy I really thought got the blunt end of the stick there.
He also had sympathy for stars whose careers vanish overnight due to allegations. Media outlets pounced. Hard.
Macdonald quickly embarked on an Apology Tour to make things right. And, perhaps, save his new Netflix talk show.
Penn’s comments were similarly critical of the #MeToo movement. The two-time Oscar winner also committed the ultimate progressive sin — “mansplaining” the issue in front of his female co-star (Natascha McElhone) and a female interviewer (Natalie Morales).
The subject? Was Penn’s new Hulu series The First, influenced by #MeToo?
“I’d like to think that none of it was influenced by what they call the movement of #MeToo,” he said. “I think it’s influenced by the things that are developing in terms of the empowerment of women who’ve been acknowledging each other and being acknowledged by men. This is a movement that was largely shouldered by a kind of receptacle of the salacious.”
“Well, we don’t know what’s a fact in many of the cases,” he said. “Salacious is as soon as you call something a movement that is really a series of many individual accusers, victims, accusations, some of which are unfounded.
“The spirit of much of what has been the #MeToo movement is to divide men and women.”
He kept going.
“I don’t want it to be a trend, and I’m very suspicious of a movement that gets glommed on to in great stridency and rage and without nuance. And even when people try to discuss it in a nuanced way, the nuance itself is attacked … It’s too black and white … in most things that are very important, it’s really good to just slow down (emphasis added).”
Agree? Disagree? You can do both. It’s still America.
Yet the Outrage Police didn’t pull him over. No major media outlets demanded an apology or simply pummeled him for his comments.
Here are several potential explanations:
Penn is left of center, to the extreme, and SJWs were less willing to scorch one of their own.
It’s Penn being Penn. He’s an eccentric who we expect to say the unexpected.
Those outraged by these statements don’t really mean it. They simply want attention and relish taking down select targets.
The latter offers the most context. The Outrage Mob often won’t complain when Republican women are shamed, judged by their physical appearance or sexualized. That makes their outrage a political weapon more than a legitimate concern.
That applies, at least partly, to the attacks on Macdonald. Macdonald isn’t a hard-left comic. He even vowed not to use his Netflix platform to aid The Resistance. So knocking him down a peg or two suddenly became more attractive to the Left.
The comic also committed the sin of defending Roseanne Barr against charges she’s a racist due to one racially charged Tweet.
Combine the two, and the Left had no problem attempting to get Macdonald’s professional scalp. And they nearly succeeded.
Penn, by comparison, walked away from his #MeToo critiques without so much as a wrist slap.
[Cross-posted from Hollywood in Toto.]