Sean Penn is not exactly one to mince words, and he didn’t mince words when he was asked about the time he worked with Steve Bannon on a film project. Bannon has a heavy history of bankrolling and doing other work on films, even as recently as 2012. He was an executive producer for “The Indian Runner,” which was Penn’s first time directing.
Penn was not nice when talking about Bannon, and that’s putting it mildly. He actually said:
“Bannon was then, as he is now, simply another bitter Hollywood wannabe who went rogue by way of toxic narcissistic iconoclasm. But, deep in his heart, he’s just a conniving hateful bloated punk who despises mankind. And then there are also the bad things about him…”
“And then there are also the bad things about him…” Wow. Just wow. We’ve known since Bannon came into the spotlight a year ago that he was a complete dick who loves bullying people. Earlier this year, film critic Ann Hornaday wrote a piece for the Washington Post that talks about what we can learn about Bannon from watching the films he made.
Many of his films are directly tied to his worldview – in fact, he’s an extreme right-wing version of Michael Moore in that respect. He’s spent a lot of time attacking “the permanent political class,” in his films, along with “hippies and community organizers” who allegedly hate this country and hate the Constitution. He’s gone after Hillary Clinton and President Obama, but also Dick Cheney and George W. Bush. In short, he hates the whole world and everyone in it who doesn’t see it exactly the way he does.
Which seems to be exactly what Penn was describing in his mini-diatribe.
Bannon is also someone who issues threats and ultimatums and strong-arms people into doing things his way. His narcissistic ego likely suffered a massive blow when he tried to bully Republicans on their farce of a healthcare bill by saying, “This is not a discussion. This is not a debate. You have no choice but to vote for this bill.”
Even before that sorry excuse of a bill failed, just the idea of Republicans not following his orders was enough for him to urge Trump to create a “shit list.” When Republicans scoffed in his general direction over his “orders,” it was very likely a humiliating defeat for him.
So “he’s just a conniving hateful bloated punk who despises mankind,” is a damned accurate description of him.
Image of Sean Penn by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for The Hollywood Reporter. Image of Steve Bannon by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images