Sean Penn Defends Criticism of Wyclef Jean

Sean Penn has posted a lengthy rebuttal to notions that his reservations about Wyclef Jean’s prospective candidacy for president of Haiti were some sort of “celebrity feud.”

Rather, he writes, again, that he was merely pointing out that Jean was absent when he and others were trying to call attention to the crisis in the country.

He writes on Huffington Post, “On Gayle King’s program Jean said the following: “I would like to tell Sean Penn I do not react on emotions when it comes to the Haitian people. I do not have to sacrifice my life and live inside of a tent to prove that I am for the Haitian people.” No, he doesn’t have to live in a tent. But it would be nice if he visited once and awhile. On the same program he said, that “had it not been for him,” my organization would never have been able to enter Haiti due to historic security problems, (referring to his self-proclaimed one man peacemaking position) he must have missed the fact that, unlike him, I travel without the benefit of a security corps. I have traveled alone in the Iraqi war zone, and security had not ever been a deciding factor in any such humanitarian or journalistic action for me.”

Penn calls it “regrettable” that Jean is contesting Haitian election officials’ decision to keep him off the ballot, arguing that the election race stands to devolve into “a presidential campaign of personality that threatens to create a new swell of social unrest in a plagued country.”

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