[QODLink]
Talk to Al Jazeera

Sean Penn: Actor and activist

The Hollywood actor speaks out about US foreign policy, issues of privacy and the role of the media.

Last updated: 12 Apr 2014 15:22
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

Sean Penn is often the man in the spotlight, firing up the crowds and demanding change.

His performances on screen have made him one of Hollywood's most respected actors, earning him two Academy Awards.

I am an American, and to engage in the culture of complaint about our own credibility failures is to have to acknowledge the part that we as citizens play, and [that we] have failed our own government. Not only the failure of the government towards us and to the world.

Sean Penn, actor

But aside from his career success, some have not appreciated his support for Venezuela's former president Hugo Chavez, or his stance on the US' war in Iraq when he accused the Bush administration of criminal acts.

"You, Mr's Bush and Cheney, you Ms Rice, are villainously and criminally obscene people," he said at the time.

Penn is not afraid of controversy, and of questioning those in power. He knows his position in popular culture can benefit the causes he believes in, leading to his humanitarian and activist work in countries including Haiti and Pakistan.

"I am an American, and to engage in the culture of complaint about our own credibility failures is to have to acknowledge the part that we as citizens play, and [that we] have failed our own government. Not only the failure of the government towards us and to the world," Penn tells Al Jazeera.

"There are great successes through the US government. We saw an incredible response in Haiti, from the White House to the State Department to the Pentagon, and the people. And we have seen deviant interventions historically as well," he says.

"I think that we don't start to correct any of those things beginning with government. We have to get increasingly engaged in the policies.

"And I think one of the big things where we have to recognise we are complicit, is that we have been far too comfort-addicted, which has led us to be reluctant to boycott corporate interests which are lobbying these policies in government."

This week on Talk to Al Jazeera, Oscar-winning actor - and activist - Sean Penn discusses his current passions and the things that move him to act, as well as issues of privacy and US foreign policy.

Talk to Al Jazeera  can be seen each week at the following times GMT: Saturday: 0430 and 1930; Sunday: 1930; Monday: 1430 .   

   Watch more  Talk to Al Jazeera 

442

Source:
Al Jazeera
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Featured
About 500,000 participated around the globe in the Peoples Climate March, and Al Jazeera spoke to some in New York.
Separatist movements in Spain, Belgium and Italy may face headwinds following Scotland's decision to stay in the UK.
A fishing trawler carrying 500 migrants across the Mediterranean was rammed by another boat, causing hundreds to drown.
Anti-immigration Sweden Democrats party - with roots in the neo-Nazi movement - recently won 12.9 percent of the vote.
Palestinian doctor who lost three daughters in previous Gaza war is fighting to bring 100 wounded kids to Canada.
join our mailing list