Chris Holden

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From Actor to Satirist: Sean Penn and Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff

by Chris Holden - May 15th, 2018.
Filed under: Activist, Actor.

Sean Penn is trying a new moniker these days. Satirist. The actor/director/correspondent just wrote his first novel. The book is making all kinds of waves, many of them not too good. It’s called, Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff, and it follows the violent escapades of a septic tank salesmen turned assassin. The book is a colorful look at Penn’s own political leanings. A well-known activist, it is no surprise that the actor would take shots at the Trump administration. But it is the other subjects he satirizes that have got him into a little hot water. Basically he dared to criticize #MeToo, and that is simply not done.


Like all satirists Penn veils his targets, but he is also very obvious about it. His caricature for Trump is called, “Mr. Landlord”, which is a direct reference to Trump. As for #MeToo, his satirization is a six-page reflection that is remarkably scathing. In his book Penn harkens #MeToo as a platform for bullying celebs accused of sexual misconduct. He iterates that the movement is childish, and reduces the impact of topics like sexual harassment to a playground joke. Such comments have received intense scrutiny from media outlets like Rolling Stone and the New York Times. Many of these outlets proclaim that Penn owes the movement an apology, but Penn has no plans to make amends. Penn’s book also focuses on the current meaning of “we”. He holds that #MeToo and the Trump administration have different takes “we”. The book posits that by avoiding individualism no one moves forward. This is probably the biggest slam he makes against #MeToo, that they are moving the cause backwards.


Penn plans on writing more books, stating in numerous interviews that he loves the writing life. His passion for individualism also shines through, as writing allows him the freedom to express himself. Despite any backlash his book is faring well. According to Penn it is nothing more than a satire, and the readers will take away their own interpretation. Typical response from a satirist.


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