Thandiwe Newton to Sean Penn: ‘MF you used to be sexy now you’re just tragic’

Thandiwe Newton is getting rave reviews for her thriller God’s Country, which premiered at Sundance. She plays a college professor who ends up in a war with local hunters parking on her property. It has a 92% Rotten Tomatoes rating and I’m looking forward to seeing it when it’s out on streaming. She’s also an executive producer of the documentary President, about alleged vote tampering in the 2018 presidential election in Zimbabwe.

Thandiwe recently tweeted about Sean Penn’s anti-trans rants in recent interviews he did with UK outlets. You’ve surely read about it, but Sean said things like “men in American culture have become wildly feminized,” “we shouldn’t become [women]” and that there are “cowardly genes that lead to people surrendering their jeans and putting on a skirt.” It was transphobic toxic masculinity 101 and Sean has become even more of an angry ham-faced joke than he already was. Those terrible quotes will follow him forever, as they should.

Thadiwe’s thoughts were some of my favorites.

She also mentioned the fact that one of the interviews, with The Independent, was a joint one. It was conducted with his daughter, Dylan, 30, who co-stars in Flag Day. It’s finally getting a UK release, hence this terrible promotion.

I like how she frames this, like we might by pointing out how he used to be hot, and calls him a fool point blank. Thandiwe doesn’t mince words or try to be diplomatic toward toxic men. She’s been outspoken for years about the misogyny in her industry and what she’s gone through in her career. She’s a fabulous actress, and I appreciate how she’s calling Sean out. This begs the question: where are the men calling Sean out for this? He’s had plenty of high profile roles and as Thandiwe mentioned he’s in Licorice Pizza. I would like to hear other celebrities say how wrong Sean is and speak out on behalf of the trans community.

There’s an incredible trend on TikTok for women to use filters to make themselves look like guys while they parrot toxic men’s talking points in podcasts. Can you imagine Thandiwe doing this and pretending to be Sean? It would be hilarious!

Photos credit: and Instar

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61 Responses to “Thandiwe Newton to Sean Penn: ‘MF you used to be sexy now you’re just tragic’”

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  1. AprilUnderwater says:

    Charlize’s daughter is trans, isn’t she?

    *penny drops*

  2. truthSF says:

    Please don’t tell me Sean is dating Charlize?! I swear, if she had her kids anywhere near that monster…😠

    • North of Boston says:

      She dated him years ago and dropped him cold.

      • truthSF says:

        Aah! Now I remember that they used to date. And y’all are right, how quickly she dumped him and ghosted him 100% adds up! Good for you Charlize!👏🏽

      • Normades says:

        Ghosted him so hard. He absolutely did something extremely toxic and she came to the light.

        Anyway love this so much. Call out all his BS.

  3. Louise says:

    She was dating him some time ago; she ghosted him. I guess now we know why.

  4. Twin Falls says:

    Her responses were spot on! He’s an angry idiot and more people should be saying so.

    • SomeChick says:

      he really is going full incel. I love Thandiwe’s responses!

      • BothSidesNow says:

        I do too!!! She told him what the rest of the planet of women, possibly men as well, think of his idiotic comments. Such misogyny is over spilling the cells in his brain. News to Penn, yes, women find you disgusting. They have for the last 3 decades. Move on and grow up. Take responsibility for your actions and words.

      • Leslie says:

        Love her and more of this, please

    • whatWHAT? says:

      I love that she didn’t hold back, at all, or try to be diplomatic.

      she said what she said, and I love her even more for it.

  5. CC says:

    I object to the idea that Sean Penn was ever sexy.

  6. Bettyrose says:

    He was Spicoli and then he was this. Dude was never sexy.

    • Redheadwriter says:

      This 100%. I will always have a soft spot for Spicoli but the actual man himself is less than dog poop on my shoe.

  7. Scal says:

    The only movie I can watch him in is ‘milk’ he disappears and I don’t see Sean Penn I only see harvey milk. The best performance of his career.

    He’s never been hot and otherwise his skills as a actor are overrated.

    • TeeBee says:

      I totally forgot about that film. Makes his descent into hyper masculinity posturing that much more sad. He should know better than to complain about men becoming “feminized”. The loosening of stereotypical roles of gender is such a wonderful thing. But he frets for no reason. Powerful overbearing men will always take up more space than they need. Him complaining about this now means that someone recently got their fee fees hurt and can’t handle it.

  8. Jais says:

    Say it, Thandi!

    • Barbie1 says:

      I’m glad she said it. Hopefully she will never run into him at an event. I’m sure he would love to unload all of his vile hateful deranged opinions towards her.

      • Yup, Me says:

        Thandiwe has been making it clear that she gives not a single, solitary, miniscule f*@% about calling out industry a$$h0l3s point blank. Sean better hope he doesn’t run into HER.

  9. Juju says:

    I love her for this… so glad she called him out and roasted him.

  10. Lucille says:

    I don’t believe in getting your point across by using insult after insult and body/age shaming. She is capable of getting her point across without foul language.

    • whatWHAT? says:

      where did she body or age shame? or insult him? calling someone what they factually are (“fool”, “tragic”) is not insulting. I suspect the “used to be sexy” means that his anti-trans language is what makes him NOT sexy, nothing to do with looks or age.

      and she didn’t use “foul language”, she said “MF”, which…yeah, we know what it means but she didn’t spell it out. and, frankly, I’d call him the same thing.

      prepare to clutch your pearls!

    • Drea says:

      Clutch those pearls hard girl!!

      There was no body shaming or foul language that I saw.

      • Drea says:

        Stop this. There was absolutely no body shaming. Sexy is a frame of mind, not a body type. Get over yourself.

        As for the foul language, pardon me if I just don’t give a rats a$$.

        As for the content, now it sounds like you’re defending him. If Thandiwe said some dumb stuff, she should be called out on it. Sean Penn has put his foot in his mouth so many times over the years, he deserves this dragging. He needs to learn, as do you, apparently.

      • whatWHAT? says:

        “MF” = “foul language”? um…ok. don’t agree, but ok. and please point out where she body-shamed him? I’m just not seeing it, but I am open to education…so please tell me which part of her statement that you interpreted as body-shaming?

        ok, let’s imagine if he said those things to her. but first, we have to imagine that she said anti-trans (and anti-woman) things. TN says anti-trans statement => SP drags her for it, says she’s a fool, that she used to be sexy but now she’s just tragic…yup, that checks out.

        and if you can’t see where/how this is about trans-people, maybe talk to some trans people and ask how THEY interpreted his statements. just like white people don’t get to decide what is racist, cis folk don’t get to decide what is anti-trans.

      • Drea says:

        I’d like to also add that this is precisely why younger generations have issues with older generations. Instead of being concerned with the actual issues of the day, you focus on propriety and try to redirect the conversation.

      • whatWHAT? says:

        @Drea, so true. (only I’d add it’s not just younger/older).

        how many times do we hear from “not-racist” people who say they don’t mind that Kap protested, but it’s “the WAY he protested” that makes them mad.

        they don’t want ANY protest that makes them have to face the idea of systemic AND everyday racism that makes them think about the past and hurt their poor fee-fees. doesn’t matter if he knelt silently on the sidelines, or was outspoken about it. they don’t want to hear it AT ALL, so they posit their objection as HOW the person puts the message out there, and not an objection to the message itself.

        not sure if I articulated that very well…but hopefully you got it.

      • Drea says:


        The young/old thing is definitely a generalization. I guess it’s more about the times changing and each generation being acclimated to their own era.

        And OMG, the protest argument kills me every time. Do you not understand that protests are supposed to make you uncomfortable? That they’re absolutely intended to make you think outside your bubble? But apparently celebrities and football players are meant to stay in their lane and not be conscious citizens.

      • Otaku fairy says:

        So true, Drea. And Juniper. All of this.

    • Yup, Me says:

      Not true at all. You can absolutely use foul language when someone is being a piece of shit. We’re making new rules in this bitch! 😁

      That outdated bs where women are trapped into playing nice and demure at all times and must avoid hurting big daddy’s soft wittle feewings is over. Women had to cultivate that crap because we couldn’t own shit and men could freely terrorize us (including locking us away in institutions until just a few decades ago).

      Fuck asshole men and fuck the women who coddle them.

    • Jaded says:

      Perhaps you’re not old enough to remember when he tied his then wife Madonna to a chair and beat her up in a drunken rage for hours. On another occasion he allegedly hit her across the head with a baseball bat and she had to go to hospital. He was already facing 60 days in jail for assaulting a film extra, and was arrested for attempted murder after he was busted hanging an intruding paparazzo over his ninth-floor hotel room balcony while filming Shanghai Surprise in Macau. Oh, and he was also charged with battery and vandalism after kicking a paparazzo in 2010 and breaking his camera. The entire incident was captured on tape. Finally, perhaps you don’t remember his response when asked about the MeToo movement…”It’s salacious and aimed to divide men and women.”

      Team Thandiwe all the way.

    • Juniper says:

      No. No no no no no. I’m tired of this garbage. Men get to insult us on our appearance, weight, and age all the time. They walk into a room and fully expect their opinions to carry weight and stop action. Women, the disabled, nonbinary, and LGBTQA+ people are constantly dismissed for it. People give influencers like Drew Afaolo shit because she fights back with the same energy that they put forth. And she’s right, it’s always some mid-level fool who thinks he’s entitled to whatever he wants. Enough of it. We had to play nice no less than 50 years ago because women couldn’t have their own bank account. Fools like these got whatever they wanted. Now the rules have changed and people like Sean Penn should be held accountable.

    • Christine says:

      It must be very hard for you to navigate the world if you think anything in Thandiwe’s comment was inappropriate. Sincerely, read it again, slowly.

    • Agreatreckoning says:

      You’re on a roll today, Lucille. It’s possible to get a point across withought the point across being miscomprehended intentionally. No other reason for your comment. Newton was pretty clear with her words. What you are ascribing to her isn’t true. Wonder why that is.

      Sean Penn, won an Oscar for the Harvey Milk film. Guess he really is a good actor. Back then he was made out to seem like he supported the different communties. Apparently it was all word salad on his part.

  11. Size+Does+Matter says:

    There is no filter powerful enough to turn that beautiful creature into a ham-faced asshat.

  12. Bobbie says:

    I think he’s talking about two separate issues. I don’t agree with his transgender comments. But as a separate issue, yes, the culture is becoming more feminine.

    • Lili says:

      I don’t think the culture is becoming more feminine, i just think we are pushing back, and from that more people are being free to express who they truly are, and we should be more accepting. Culture is not static, and people werent defined by the clothes they wear trousers or skirts or pink and Blue. Pink used to be a colour of male soldiers uniforms. i think we are undergoing a cultural shift and moving out of the boxes we’ve stuck ourselves in.

    • Eurydice says:

      I guess it depends on what is meant by “feminine.” Certainly, women’s voices are being heard much more than they used to and that causes a cultural shift.

      • Bobbie says:

        The culture is shifting away from what is traditionally considered a very masculine men. He ‘s very masculine.

      • whatWHAT? says:

        “The culture is shifting away from what is traditionally considered a very masculine men.”

        and that can only be a good thing. look where “very masculine men culture” has gotten us so far.

      • mick says:

        these binary notions of masculine and feminine have no real place in modern society. it’s archaic thinking. i’m very interested in what you’re notions of masculine and feminine are in this context.

      • Bobbie says:

        I was talking sexually, actually. Where there is more polarity, there is more heat. Where there is less polarity, there is more understanding, which is probably what he is lacking.

      • Tiffany:) says:

        Men shouldn’t be constrained by a caricature of what it means to be “manly” or masculine. It’s totally arbitrary and absurd. A skirt is simply fabric, just like jeans are fabric or pants are fabric. Women used to not be able to wear pants, but now we are “allowed”, and the world has moved on just fine.

        Also…kilts are a thing and “manly” men have been wearing “skirts” since the 16th century.

    • Jaded says:

      The culture isn’t becoming more feminine, it’s becoming less forgiving of toxic masculinity because women are coming together, supporting each other and calling out toxic masculinity in droves. We’re refusing to acquiesce to masculine perceptions of gender roles. It’s a long, slow process that will take several more generations to show success, and meatheads like Sean Penn will still dig in their heels and repudiate the positive effect women are having on creating a safe and egalitarian society.

    • g says:

      @bobbie so fucking what if is? Half of this planet is females. GTFOH w that BS.

    • HeatherC says:

      Is there a problem with that? If by more feminine you mean the world is being shaped by female opinions as well, women are no longer to just sit there demurely and wait to be patted on the head before leaving the room so the “men” can talk “serious business,” a world where women’s opinions carry equal weight then hell yes I am here for that. If this world is becoming a world less likely to cater to men like Sean Penn’s ego and make sure his wittle feelings aren’t hurt or his “Masculinity” threatened, then I hope we get there fully and soon. If a more feminine world means shitty men like this are held accountable for their words and actions, and the women who protect them wake up, it’s the start of a more beautiful world.

  13. HeyKay says:

    Sean Penn = POS. Nothing new in that.

  14. tisme says:

    I just can’t agree that sean penn was ever sexy. Ew.
    But I am looking forward to other celebrities calling him out for the douchebag he is!

  15. Robert Phillips says:

    I don’t have twitter or any of that. So could someone please tell Sean that all embreo’s are female to begin with. Later on they are washed with hormones that make them male or female. So Sean himself was female for awhile. Just like every other human on the planet. It’s the wiring in the brain that doesn’t convert which can cause trans. people. The hormones change their bodies but not in their minds so they feel different than what their bodies reflect.

  16. jferber says:

    He was never sexy and he was never all that. Honestly. For all the times white men are called “geniuses,” I’d like to see women and men of color spoken of this way. Just please. For every white man called a genius and isn’t, there are women of all colors and men who are not white, NOT getting the praise, respect and money they deserve. Just stop, Sean. I’d like never to see or hear from this ham face for the rest of his life.

  17. Bex says:

    There has never been a point in time where Sean Penn has been sexy. Never.

    Why is Thandiwe lying like this???

  18. Jenn says:

    I love that she tagged him in her criticism — a real lady will say it to your face! Respect forever.