Sean Penn left Ukraine earlier this week, ‘walked miles’ to the Polish border

As Russia began its invasion of Ukraine last week, one Hollywood actor was on the ground as it happened. That actor? Sean Penn, who has spent time in Ukraine over the past six months, making a documentary (apparently). Penn happened to fly into Kyiv just before the invasion, and he attended a briefing from President Zelensky. Much was made about how Penn was brave to stay in Ukraine during the invasion, and how it would be a good way for Westerners to hear about what was happening in the country. Yeah… Sean Penn left Ukraine on Tuesday.

I mean… I don’t blame him. I would have gotten out too, and maybe this is a way for Penn to “teach” Americans about the Ukrainian refugee crisis. Surely he stayed on the ground in Poland to document the influx of hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian refugees – mostly women and children – fleeing to neighboring countries?

When we first learned of Penn’s presence in Kyiv, I felt like it was just another ego trip for him, that Penn was inevitably centering himself in the story of Ukraine. But now…learning that he left the country on Monday… I don’t know, it feels pretty symbolic too.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Backgrid.

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17 Responses to “Sean Penn left Ukraine earlier this week, ‘walked miles’ to the Polish border”

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  1. jferber says:

    I understand he’d want to get out, too. Need I say, though, that the bravest journalists and photographers (which he is not) would have stayed and perhaps died there.

  2. YaGotMe says:

    He’s a jerk but what he said about Letting Ukraine fight alone was spot on .

    • Colby says:

      I agree. People are scared of WW3 breaking out but as far as I can see, it’s already here. Because once he takes Ukraine, he’ll do it again. He’s not stopping. So it’s just stop him now or stop him later.

  3. Cava 24 says:

    It’s really good that he left. For all the problems Vice News had and has as an organization, they do have some good journalists working for them, some of whom have covered conflict before. They do not need to be babysitting Sean Penn. Him being there creates its own set of problems, his personality not being the least of them. I don’t know if Vice has other teams there but he has no business being there at all.

  4. Nicegirl says:

    Intelligent ? A hole ? Get that baked ham outta there

  5. smee says:

    I normally have zero love for that woman-basher, but bringing attention to this war by any means necessary is vital atm

    • Mac says:

      Every major news bureau has people on the ground in Ukraine. Penn isn’t bringing awareness to a conflict that is getting wall-to-wall coverage, he is using a war and the suffering of Ukrainians to make content.

  6. Willow says:

    What is the documentary about? Only the beginning of war? Why not stay until the end? This comes across like an adventure for him or a vanity project. Let the Ukrainians, the people at the sharp end of the stick, tell us what is happening. They are doing an awesome job of it on social media. Stop making it about you.

    • Lary says:

      From what I understand, he was actually there a month (?) before the full scale invasion to document how the war that was started in 2014 was going and what was happening along those distant (now seems like years) front lines.

  7. chumsley says:

    Maybe it’s my anti-Sean Penn bias speaking, but my first thought when I saw that he abandoned his car to walk to the Polish border was, “great, so instead of waiting in line with everyone else, he’s trying to cut ahead of the line.” Even if he’s bringing needed attention to the plight of the Ukrainian people, I just can’t with him.

  8. Monette says:

    Oh, yes, let me take out my handkerchief and wipe my tears for this overpriviledged a**ham.
    Thank God, he got out!

  9. Peanut Butter says:

    I agree 100% with his comments about Ukrainian courage & the consequences of leaving Ukraine to fight alone. I appreciate anyone who’s speaking up about that.

  10. Sasha says:

    This is actually quite selfish of him. 2 weeks ago people that were not supposed to be there we’re told to evacuate- even my BIL who is a diplomat working on relations in the country was evacuated, not only because of his safety, but because it causes unnecessary pressure on borders and other resources. Same with all of the students that aren’t residents there

  11. Eloisa says:

    It would be interesting his opinion on the border and if he would document and talk about the discrimination to other nationalities/skin tone that the media keeps silent while journalists only talk about blue eyed blond people being in danger. It is unbelievable that the European or American media does not talk about the people from India, Africa, etc. who live in Ukraine but do not have the help or sympathy and are struggling to cross the border. Everyone deserves help.

    This is a terrible time for humanity, I hope this ends soon and Ukraine can return to normalcy without feeling threatened.

    • Sasha says:

      I would take what you hear with a grain of salt. Because Russians have been meddling with social media in NA for a while- and because TMZ was the first to report this – I’m geared to think it is being said in order to stop donations to Ukraine – as Russians know that dropping in anything BLM will detour many NAr’s from donating.
      If there is anywhere that’s racist- it’s Russia. Also- people of all races need aide in the Ukraine.

  12. Ipetgoat2 says:

    Omg stop saying that the differential treatment of white Refugees and those of color is Russian propaganda. It’s a fact. Check your sources

  13. When I watched this video yesterday, of him speaking to Anderson Cooper on CNN, he seemed dazed. Like, somehow, shit got real for him in a way that he hadn’t expected. He also referenced being inspired daily by his children and ‘estranged wife’, but not in the soul shaking way that the Ukrainian people inspired him. Who is he still married to?