Cannes 2012: Sean Penn Makes a Profanity-Laden Plea for Haiti

Sean Penn Cannes - H 2012
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Sean Penn Cannes - H 2012

In an effort to raise money for the country still devastated by the 2010 earthquake, the actor calls politics "a f---ing smoke screen" in front of a crowd including Ben Stiller, Diane Kruger and Chris Dodd.

CANNES -- Sharing the stage with director Paul Haggis and supermodel Petra Nemcova, Sean Penn continued his passionate support for Haitian relief at a Cannes Film Festival charity gala.

In a room filled with VIPs -- including Ben Stiller, Diane Kruger and MPAA chairman and CEO Chris Dodd -- Penn declared "politics is a f---ing smoke screen" and encouraged partygoers to shift their focus to a more immediate cause: rebuilding Haiti.

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"I know you have other parties to go to and other people to f---," Penn said before encouraging the audience to open both their hearts and wallets to Haitian relief.

Declaring the importance of international support, Penn demanded that, as an American, the U.S. needs to respect both our nation's culture and genius.

The actor and former Cannes head juror demanded high bids for the evening's auction, including the female attendees to use their powers of persuasion.

"Look to the man next to you and say, I'm not going to f--- you tonight until you pay the f--- up," Penn said, sparking a round of applause.

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When the first auction item -- a Golden Globe weekend, including tickets to the show itself, the CAA party, the Weinstein party and two nights at the Montage -- only received a bid of $90,000 (70,000 euro), Haggis returned to the stage to fuel the audience by adding a date to the package: Gerard Butler.

"Gerry Butler, get your gorgeous ass up here," Haggis shouted into the microphone. A reluctant Butler stepped onto the stage and when no new bids came on, the actor joked to the crowd, "Paul, you really f---ed me this time."

The auction ended up going for $127,000 (100,000 euro) to a bidder -- without Butler.

The final item -- a three day trip to Haiti with Penn as a personal guide -- went to three different bidders for $127,000 (100,000 euro) each.