Cannes 2012: Sean Penn Blasts the Media and His Fellow Celebrities for 'Abandoning' Haiti

9:28 AM PST 05/18/2012 by Gregg Kilday
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Sean Penn

Before taking part in a black-tie fundraiser, the actor and activist urges President Obama to meet with Haiti's newly elected president.

Sean Penn may have come to Cannes to take part in a glitzy fundraising dinner to benefit the victims of the Haitian earthquake, but before heading to the black-tie event, he took time out to blast the media and his fellow celebrities for their fading commitment to the cause.

"It's not only celebrities who went for a day," Penn said at a Friday press conference. "It's the whole f---ing world. It's all of you." 

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He continued, “The reason we have Haiti fatigue is because there was never a commitment in the first place.”

The actor was joined by writer-director Paul Haggis and Czech model Petra Nemcova, both of who, like Penn, have relief organizations working in Haiti. Their three groups – Penn’s J/P Haitian Relief Organization, Haggis’ Artists for Peace and Justice and Nemcova’s Happy Hearts Foundation – are to receive the proceeds from the dinner that Giorgio Armani is presenting with co-sponsor Chopard on Friday night at the Festival Agora.

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“The central problem in Haiti is poverty,” Penn said. He praised Haggis, who had been working in Haiti before the 2010 earthquake, for his efforts. Haggis returned the compliment, saying Penn is a “hero.”

Penn also said it's time for President Obama to meet Haiti’s newly elected President Michel Joseph Martelly.

”It is time for our formidable and elegant president to stand by side with the new president of Haiti,” Penn said.

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