Identity

Sean Penn Wrote a Totally Fictional Novel About a Violent Man Who Hates #MeToo

The actor—who allegedly hit his ex-wife Madonna with a baseball bat—is bravely pioneering the otherwise unexplored topic of quirky, violent leading men in his debut book.
Photo by Ian Gavan via Getty Images

"So Brave!" is Broadly's new humor column in collaboration with the feminist satire site Reductress.

If you’re someone who’s always hoped that the guy from Mystic River would write a book taking on Trump and the #MeToo movement, then you’re in luck! Sean Penn—actor, activist, El Chapo interviewer, friend of Fidel Castro, serial abuser, and one-time guest star on Two and a Half Men—has written a "satirical novel" called Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff and wow does it sounds like something!

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The novel tells the story of Bob Honey, a "modern American man, entrepreneur and contract killer who sells septic tanks to Jehovah’s Witnesses and arranges pyrotechnic displays for foreign dictators." Bravely pioneering the otherwise unexplored topic of quirky and violent leading men, Penn rivals Victor Frankenstein with his innovation: stitching together and reviving every Chuck Palahniuk story ever published. Brilliant!

In today's frightening climate where men's achievements are diminished by pesky things like rape convictions, it's unspeakably courageous to believe that your old, privileged, and irrelevant point of view is necessary. In the era of #MeToo, many people will say that it's not abusers' time to speak up. To those silly critics, Sean Penn (who was charged with felony domestic assault but pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor after his victim dropped the charges) bravely says: Nevertheless, I persisted.

Penn—who allegedly hit his ex-wife Madonna with a baseball bat, for which she didn't press charges because the actor was already facing jail time for assaulting a film extra—first released the novel as an audiobook in 2016. The book will also reportedly feature a poem by the protagonist, which calls the #MeToo movement "an infantilizing term of the day."

Deadline published the following excerpt by Penn, the man who reportedly "smacked and roughed up" Madonna, tied her "to a chair with heavy twine" and refused to release her until she "agreed to perform a degrading sex act on him":

“Is this a toddlers’ crusade? Reducing rape, slut-shaming and suffrage to reckless child’s play? A platform for accusation impunity? Due process has lost its sheen?”

Rather than making the obviously dumb choice (publicly opposing the international movement against sexist abuse as a known abuser), Penn bravely chooses to tackle the issue artistically with an allegorical novel. What a heroic genius!