Sean Penn bitches about celebs who attend his Haiti fundraisers but don’t donate


I like to joke around and say that Sean Penn’s face looks like a ham hock, but I have to admit two things. One, it’s sort of refreshing to see an actor – male or female – who doesn’t give a damn about the wear and tear on their face. It’s especially refreshing for an American actor. Two, after seeing Donald Trump’s ham-like visage in the Oval Office last week, I can safely say that Penn might no longer be Ham-Face to me. Perhaps I should call him Old Leather Shoe. Old Leather Shoe covers the new issue of Haute Living, a pretty fancy magazine. And within that fancy magazine, Penn mostly talks about how much he hates the fancy people who come to his Haiti charity fundraisers because he thinks those people don’t donate enough money. Some highlights from the interview:

His annual Haiti Rising galas: “There are a few extraordinary people that come, but then you have a room that is full mostly of people that are not giving anything. They eat, stargaze and watch the band but, honestly, I don’t think there’s a person in that room that can’t afford $25. I always wonder about that.”

Still, he’s surprised that anyone turns out given his involvement: He says he is ‘aware of stuff,’ and admitted that he is ‘always surprised by anything very positive or anything very negative… I can imagine, based on things I’ve heard about myself, that nobody would show up at [my] damn event because of my involvement, you know? I can imagine that and, yet, people come out. I put one foot in front of the other, and it is what it is.’

He sees it as his duty to use his fame for good: “If you’re in the acting or film business, where your major job is to share things, then you ought not to be [in the business] if you don’t. It’s a really lucky life and a really fortunate one, but it’s all just life to me.”

He was advised to not stay more than three months in Haiti: ‘I made the mistake of not taking that advice. I think I went a little kooky. It really just happened this way: once I got to Haiti, like so many other people, I fell in love with it – the people there, the possibilities that is has.’

[From The Daily Mail]

I actually looked up our previous posts about Penn’s Haiti fundraisers, because my memory was that the fundraisers were always well-attended and they always raised millions of dollars. The last one was back in January – Penn organizes the fundraisers around Golden Globes weekend, when everyone is in town. And it raised millions of dollars. But! The money wasn’t the headline that weekend. The headlines were A) Madonna acting like she was still in love with Penn at the fundraiser and B) Penn’s interview with El Chapo. While Penn’s charity might be coming from the right place, he does have a tendency to shoot himself in the foot with the headlines. And if I was a celebrity who regularly attended the fundraisers, I would not plan on attending this year, because Penn will probably just bitch about you later.


Photos courtesy of Haute Living.

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13 Responses to “Sean Penn bitches about celebs who attend his Haiti fundraisers but don’t donate”

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  1. Alleycat says:

    Well, he has a point. If you’re a millionaire going to a CHARITY GALA, maybe you should donate. If us peons can do it, so can they. If you already donate tons and don’t feel like donating to this one, stay home.

    • Louisa says:

      There was one charity that raised in the high millions n promised to built a hospital yes ago but hospital still not there and the Haiti gov.showed said charity gave less than 5% of the $. That’s screwed up. At my kids school,the nurse is Haitian and she talks about the corruption from within but also big names who used them to cipher money that Haiti never saw. The news here doesn’t show us anything.

    • pinetree13 says:

      I was reading some recent research that actually backs up that the rich give way less. The average rich person (people with $10 million or more in these studies) gives less than 1% of their income to charity despite the fact that they can often donate more and get a huge tax benefit anyway! The same study also found that poor people were far more generous.

      So yeah, rich celebs showing up eating and not donating….that is shameful.

  2. Regina.Phalange says:

    Well that would be frustrating throwing a fundraiser, having a bunch of wealthy attendees, and have some of them not donate. Like he said, these are people who can afford $25. What jerk goes to a fundraiser, knowing the cause in advance, and then doesn’t donate? Phhhhtfff

  3. MC2 says:

    I agree with this sentiment even though he is a db. You go to the party- donate. Don’t just wear the pin.

    • QueenB says:

      yeah me too. he is absolutely right. its not about donating millions but give a little at least when you are enjoying the dinner and looking at celebs.

      on the other hand i kind of understand you dont want to donate 25 bucks in such company but then just dont go.

  4. BearcatLawyer says:

    I tend to agree with him though. Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. $25 is not too much to ask someone to give. Besides, this fundraiser gets good publicity (even if Sean Penn does not). Smart celebs would be wise to donate and get the free publicity that comes from giving and attending.

  5. Miss Grace Jones says:

    Wasn’t he exposed for his charities not actually helping the Haitian people and causing problems? I don’t trust most charities on principle– for instance I was doing research on charities for class not too long ago that showed that in places like Chad for every aid dollar coming in, ten dollars are lost to illegal capital going out, most of it in tax havens in Europe–Britain in particular. Over 430 billion dollars has left Africa between 2000-2008 through false aid and foreign banks and multinational business owners, trust accounts, etc.

    I went on a rant but this kinda stuff is much the same in places like Haiti and south america so I always kinda curl my tongue when I hear about charities. It gets even slimier to me with missionaries or kids going to other countries to feel saved and find themselves then abandoning the people they used for their own ego stroke.

  6. Neo says:

    Presumably it costs money to go and people think they’ve done their duty. Just raise the price by $25 and you’re good to go.

  7. jinni says:

    Well considering he was never beautiful and never known for his looks it’s probably easier for him to just age naturally because the media isn’t writing article after article about how he let himself go and comparing him to his 20 year old self. This goes for male heartthorbs and screen beauties.

  8. SamC says:

    Yes, they should donate. You also hear about the money raised but not the net after expenses, venues, catering, decor, etc. add up. I just ran a run of the mill reception with dinner, 100 people, and the bill was over $10,000.

    And celebs, even friends of celebs, generally require some sort of payment, direct or indirect, to attend and their ticket is comp’d. To give you an example, there is a whole group of second and third tier retired NFL players that make the rounds of charity golf events. While their attendance is a draw, they are not donating their time. Charity generally has to cover travel (first class), minimum of two nights hotel (more if a multi day event) at a 4 or 5 star hotel, all transportation (and it’s not Uber) , daily meal per diem (even if meals are provided), and some also ask for travel and meals for a companion. You have 3 or 4 players at an outing and it’s a significant chunk of change out of the event budget and money not going to programs, etc.

    • pinetree13 says:

      wow that is ridiculous! So not only are they not donating they cost the charity a lot of money!!! That’s insanity. I don’t know why I continue to be shocked by the selfishness of people. But I do.

  9. Jellybean says:

    I like a face with character. I his case the problem seems to be the personality not the face.