Sean Penn Reveals Why He Watches ISIS Beheading Videos: "We Are Not Seeing Enough of Real Violence"
'The Gunman' star feels that Americans are becoming "anesthetized" to seeing "the horror of war."
Sean Penn has revealed that he has watched ISIS beheading videos because he feels morally obligated to as "we are not seeing enough of real violence."
In an interview with the Daily Telegraph, Penn argued that people were being "anesthetized" by political correctness that argues against showing the atrocities committed by groups like ISIS and thus not fully understanding it or confronting it. "I’ve watched them," said Penn on the beheading videos, adding: "And anyone who sees them and claims that they were anesthetized by violent movies, that they weren’t horrified by what they saw, on the most primal level, is intellectually dishonest or existentially unpresent.”
Penn added: “The problem is we are not seeing enough of real violence. We are being anesthetized when you don’t see the horror of war."
Penn feels that unlike during the Vietnam War, American news channels today have abdicated their responsibility in showing the full story from a conflict. “In the Sixties, we grew up with the horror of Vietnam on our television screens every day. Today we have become anesthetized by political correctness. The American news channels did this with the Iraq war; they wouldn’t show what it was about, they wouldn’t show the caskets coming home.”
Penn, a well known and vocal critic of the Iraq war, also said he had no problem with Clint Eastwood's American Sniper, a film that has been lionized by the right in the U.S. and said by many to celebrate the conflict. “Here’s the thing. I don’t see the same problems with it [as others do], not because of my relationship with Clint," he said.
He added: "I don’t see the glorification. I probably go into a zone when it comes to military films, where I am assessing the technical aspects of the filmmaking more than the political message. Clint and I have had some political discussions and he is a committed libertarian. I don’t think he is by any means a conventional Republican.”
The Gunman star was also quick to push back against those who say there's too much violence in movies these days: “I think puritanism and sexual repression is the source of the problem ... Nobody glorified violence like John Wayne, and they don’t pick on that stuff.”