Sean Penn urges Wyclef Jean to exit Haiti race

Actor writes Huffington Post column lamenting 'celebrity feud'

Sean Penn stepped up his attack on Wyclef Jean's bid for the Haitian presidency in a Huffington Post column published Wednesday in which he called on Jean to withdraw his candidacy.

"These elections are crucial, and I have no part in them," Penn wrote. "Neither should Mr. Jean."

Penn claims Jean didn't spend time in the country in the six months immediately after the earthquake that ravaged the region and shot back at Jean's own digs at Penn that the actor's efforts to rebuild the country were restricted to "one particular area."

Said Penn, "So many of us on the ground wondered where he was when that kind of attention was so necessary and absent, and why he was NOT helping to keep this desperate situation in the news."

Penn also lashed out at Jean and his supporters for characterizing his criticism as a "celebrity feud" and trivializing the tragedy at hand. "When New York press agents circle wagons of ignorance and sell as deep insight the advertisement of that which charms them about a client, the lives and needs of the Haitian people are sidelined."