Westworld star Thandiwe Newton has spoken out against fellow actor Sean Penn's recent ill-received comments about American men becoming too "feminized," and she did not mince words.
Penn's comments about "cowardly genes" inspiring "wildly feminized" men to wear "skirts" sounded right out of the alt-right playbook and the backlash was swift, including from some of the normally progressive-minded star's peers.
But none of them were quite so blunt as Newton.
In a tweet sent directly to Penn, Newton slammed his comments, calling him "tragic" and a "jibbering FOOL."
See her tweet below.
Tagging Penn, Newton wrote:
"@SeanPenn 🤣🤣🤣 Dude what are you SAY-ING?? Like for REAL? You’re a jibbering FOOL."
"MF you used to be sexy but now you’re just tragic 😤 "
But she wasn't done there. Newton added a reply to her tweet in which she implored Penn to do better by his daughter and implied that the furor over his weird gender hang-ups threatened to eclipse Penn's latest film, director PT Anderson's Oscar-buzzy Licorice Pizza.
Penn's comments originally surfaced in an interview with the UK's iNews, in which he lamented that American men have become "wildly feminized."
“I am in the club that believes that men in American culture have become wildly feminized."
"I don’t think that being a brute or having insensitivity or disrespect for women is anything to do with masculinity, or ever did. But I don’t think that [in order] to be fair to women, we should become them.”
Penn then doubled on the comments in a subsequent interview, telling The Independent:
"There are a lot of, I think, cowardly genes that lead to people surrendering their jeans and putting on a skirt.”
Such statements are practically identical to rhetoric heard in far-right legislative attacks on transgender people and from hate groups like January 6 conspirators the Proud Boys, who bill themselves as "Western chauvinists" seeking to preserve so-called traditional masculinity (along with white supremacy, anti-semitism, and other ills).
For Newton's part, she's never shied away from speaking her mind. In a recent interview with British Vogue, Newton called out racism in the entertainment industry, and in 2020 she called out Hollywood mogul Amy Pascal and megastar Tom Cruise for their mistreatment of her while working together.
And as they did then, several people on Twitter applauded Newton for not being afraid to call out Penn for his ridiculous comments.