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Conan O’Brien, Sean Penn Latest To Denounce Cancel Culture



Actordirector Sean Penn at the photocall for The Last Face at the 69th Festival de Cannes | Conan O’Brien, Sean Penn Latest To Denounce Cancel Culture | featured

Hollywood’s liberal voices like Sean Penn and Conan O’Brien are joining the chorus against cancel culture. At this point, many Americans are realizing that there is universal hatred against the trend of ostracising people for past misdeeds.  

RELATED: Kelly Osbourne Says F*ck Cancel Culture!

‘Cancel Culture is Very Soviet’

In his July 5 podcast of “Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend,” the former late-night talk show host sat down with veteran actor and liberal activist Sean Penn about the dangers of political incorrectness. O’Brien noted that in today’s world, “Empathy is a very important word and also forgiveness. We found that someone did something in 1979 that is now not appropriate. They’re dead to us.” 

O’Brien then described cancel culture as “very Soviet,” and said that people deserve a chance for forgiveness. He asked what happened to the idea of forgiving people for past transgressions. Penn agreed and called the movement ludicrous. 

What Are We Doing?

As an example, Penn talked about the former editor-in-chief of Teen Vogue, Alexi McCammond. The magazine fired McCammond after a few weeks on the job because of anti-Asian tweets she posted as a teenager. “When we’re destroying careers like that, what are we really achieving? What are we doing?” the multi-awarded actor asked. 

The two then discussed how the trend is reshaping Hollywood. Penn noted that unlike before, he will have a hard time auditioning for groundbreaking roles because he’s not an actual member of the community.

He said that he won the role of gay activist Harvey Milk even if he wasn’t gay. Now, he’s unsure if he can get consideration for the same role if he’s straight.   

“Today, almost certainly I would not be permitted to be cast in that role. We’re living in a time when, if you’re playing a gay lead character, you’d have to be a gay man or a trans character. And there have been these casting issues,” he said. 

The Left Pushed Representation Too Far

Penn also warned that the Left might have gone too far by overly pushing representation. “When you have a period of evolution that certainly has an opportunity for people who have had fewer opportunities to move forward.

That has to be supported, and yet in this pendulum swing society that we’re in, you wonder at some point if only Danish Princes can play Hamlet. It is, I believe, too restrictive. People are looking for gotcha moments and to criticize,” he said. 

Meanwhile, O’Brien compared Penn’s experience to the tendency among late-night talk show hosts to politicize comedy. He said that he tries to actively avoid following the trend as he might lose his way. “I know people in comedy, people who do the job that I do that feel like there’s so much that’s happening that doesn’t feel funny that they feel like it’s their job to speak out about those things,” he said. “And I think, yes that’s great but it’s easy for that to just turn into anger and outrage, and then you’re not, you feel like you’re losing your way as a comedian. And I think that’s what gets so tricky right now,” O'Brien added. 

Sometimes, It’s Embarrassing Being In Show Business

O’Brien also reflected on setting boundaries. “The job is ‘how can I reflect some of what’s happening around me, but also for me, I just know that I serve at the altar of silliness and comedy and that is what I need to try and get back to,” he noted. 

He said he needs to go back to focus on where his strength comes from. This can mean knowing when the news has nothing to do with his comedy. “And some people might say, ‘Well, that’s a cop-out.

You should make your comedy about what is happening right now.’ And I just think, frankly, I don’t have that ability. There are times when it’s embarrassing to be in show business,” he added.

Watch The Heritage Foundation’s report on celebrities slamming cancel culture:

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  • Princess Gentry says:

    I have 6 children and would hate to think I could not forgive them for every bad choice or mistake they have made or that they could not forgive me for my every mistake I make where they are concerned that is how we learn and hopefully learn along the way to not repeat them

  • Huapakechi says:

    The “cancel culture” has metastasized to the point that even the suspicion or rumor of an inappropriate word, action, or inaction results in attacks resembling monkeys savaging a member of the troupe

  • Princess says:

    I would also like to add that it angers me that just a few get to choose what gets canceled each time I seen someone destroy property trying to cancel what it stands for they where not thinking about where our country has grown away from the things from the past and there are so many things I wanted to see and share with my children so they could understand history in person

  • David says:

    HILARIOUS! It’s them and their, drug addicted, molesting, couch casting friends that support thr cancel culture. Whst gets cancelled is very one-sided as well. Trump was a racist but then rhey voted for the guy that said, afeican ameeican children are like cockroaches, they’ll infest our public schools.” It would be great if these two clowns, as well as the rest of hollywierd would get cancelled. The pandemic was great for a bunch of reasons, but most importantly, no movies, or movie theaters. Hopefully that’s a thing of the past. It would be great to have pro sports be a thing of the past as well. Nothing would be better than to have the little leagues around the country play in the big stadiums instead of the woke, cheating “pros.” Can’t wait for Little League World Series. Everyone tune in!

  • Michael Tomaino says:

    So, what i see is that liberals like penn are actually becoming victims of their own stupidity. Now,they demand it be stopped especially if it’s being directed at themselves. They don’t care that they’ve destroyed Conservativesives…

  • sherril henderson says:

    Those who want to cancel culture should be canceled as citizens of this country. Or be institutionalized for the insane.

  • Homer Sipsome says:

    Now that the left-originated cancel culture finds itself cannibalized, they want an end to it. No end to the hypocrisy of the left.

  • Dave Señior says:

    All is good until the tables are turned. This “Cancel Culture” generation has an overwhelming sense of entitlement and have over inflated egos. The sad thing about it is that our generation started it. (Not everyone in our generation). Giving trophies to everyone win or lose, no child left behind, and treating everyone the same. (No matter the age, gender, socioeconomic status). You DON’T treat a three year old the same as a seven, fifteen, or thirty year old. This is how the liberals are destroying our great nation.

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