Sean Penn Sparks Outrage for U.K. 'Colonialist' Comments
Sean Penn, no stranger to controversy, is making enemies across the pond.
The actor has publicly sided with Argentina in a protest against Prince William's six-week air force assignment in the Falkland Islands, a British territory off the coast of the South American country. The countries, who have long disputed sovereignty over the islands, went to war in 1982 with 900 lives lost in the battle.
"There are many places to deploy a prince," Penn said following a meeting Uruguay President Jose Mujica this week. "It's not necessary when the deployment of a prince is generally accompanied by a warship, to send them into seas of such spilled blood."
Penn, whose charitable endeavors in Haiti have earned him an "ambassador at large" title from the government, was in Montevideo, Uruguay, to thank the country for its help since the 2010 earthquake. On Monday in Buenos Aires, the actor ruffled feathers after slamming Britain's presence in the Falklands, which he called the "Malvinas Islands of Argentina."
"It's necessary that these diplomatic talks happen between United Kingdom and Argentina," Penn told reporters after a sitdown with Argentinian president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. "I think that the world today is not going to tolerate any kind of ludricrous and archaic commitment to colonialist ideology."
After his remarks made headlines in Britain, Penn accused media outlets of supporting war over Argentina's goal toward negotiating a U.N.-mediated settlement with the U.K.
Cue backlash from conservative London newspaper The Daily Mail, which blasted Penn as a "left-wing U.S. actor" who had launched an "ugly attack on the press."
"What on earth has this got to do with Sean Penn? He's neither British nor Argentine and seems to know nothing about the situation," said Patrick Mercer, a Tory member of Parliament. "A good number of his movies have been turkeys, so I suppose we shouldn't expect much better coming out of his mouth."