Brilliant show this past Sunday's Oscars, no? Hugh Jackman, all smiles, muscles and dexterity, starlets aglitter in paillettes, diamonds and tears (forced or not), men in tuxes - it's delicious, much-needed fantasy for a beleaguered American, hell, global population. (Incidentally, people who poo-poo the Oscars were never held as infants, or so I think anyway).
Monday morning, of course, is all about post-show recap with my girls (male and female) at my PR place of employment. The one question that came up in our chats: why didn't you blog about Sean Penn's Oscar win?
Oh, right, Sean Penn. I hate him, right? Ack.
OK, here goes:
I caved back in January and went to see Milk. James wanted to see it and hell, I'm a gay man and should support movies that tell our stories, even if I may not like the politics of their cast. (Besides, as a Gay Conservative Liberal I've had to make many of these concessions in order to remain employed and socially viable in New York) I loved the movie and I thought Sean Penn lost himself in the depiction of Harvey Milk - brilliant acting, which is what we would expect from Mr. Penn.
My issue with Sean Penn has never about his acting chops. It's about his ballsy, uninformed and callous support of Hugo Chavez, whom I still consider the greatest threat to civility and democracy in the Western Hemisphere. Harvey Milk's refrain, "I'm angry," sums up the sentiment of the people of Colombia who have had enough of the Communist guerrillas looking to disrupt their country's progress for the past fifty years, most recently with the support of Hugo Chavez and his "Bolviarian Revolution." That Sean Penn, an avowed citizen of the world, would ignore the international call against Chavez and Colombia's FARC groups and instead write a glowing epistol on the dictator, is offensive and un-American.
Still, did Sean Penn deserve the Oscar? Absolutely. As political as the Oscars are they are, on paper, a celebration of acting and nothing more. But I did have a hard time swallowing Penn's acceptance speech chastising this generation for their support of Prop 8. The gay rights movement is not a communist movement, and that our visibility is tied to Sean Penn really irks me.