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JAN
9
2 YEARS

Sean Penn to Receive the Joel Siegel Award at the Critics Choice Movie Awards

George Clooney will present the honor, recognizing the actor's philanthropic work in Haiti.

Sean Penn
Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Sean Penn will be presented with the fifth annual Joel Siegel Award at the 17th annual Critics’ Choice Movie Awards, which will be broadcast live Thursday, Jan. 12 by VH1 from the Hollywood Palladium.

George Clooney, who is nominated as best actor in The Descendants at the awards, voted by the Broadcast Film Critics Association, will present Penn with the honor.

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The annual award, named after the late BFCA member and Good Morning, America film critic Joel Siegel, honors those who “understand, as Joel did, that the greatest value of celebrity is as an enhanced platform to do good work for others," the organization said. 

Penn founded the J/P Haitian Relief Organization in the immediate aftermath of the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that struck Haiti on January 12, 2010.  Since then J/P HRO has led the effort to raise money and awareness in response to the disaster, which took more than 200,000 lives. 

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“We are extremely proud to be able to make this presentation to Sean on this night in particular, exactly two years after the devastating earthquake struck Haiti,” BFCA president Joey Berlin said.  “While it was heartening to see such an outpouring of support and aid for the Haitian people in the immediate aftermath of the tragedy, the long-term commitment made by Sean and his organization is particularly notable.  The Joel Siegel Award was created to spotlight such above and beyond efforts by the leading lights of our industry and its spirit is truly personified by Sean Penn.”

Penn has been nominated for seven Critics’ Choice Awards and has won in the best actor category for Mystic River and Milk.