Sean Penn: Celebrity Is Obscene Disease
Turning away from stardom 'common sense,' says actor
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Jan 23, 2012 11:35 PM CST
Updated Jan 24, 2012 12:02 AM CST
Actor Sean Penn arrives at the Cinema for Peace benefit for the J/P Haitian Relief Organization in Beverly Hills, Calif., earlier this month.   (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)
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(Newser) – Bad boy Sean Penn is at it again. The eternally angry actor is blasting celebrity as an "obscene disease." "I don't think it's an overstatement to say that it's an obscene disease of celebrity that's taken over far too much of the life we live. I think it's a disease that's diminished the quality of life," Penn told the Huffington Post in an interview plugging his latest movie. "It's clearly something that I've been compromised by. But for the culture at large, there is this kind of herd commitment. I think it's just become cheap."

Penn is starring in This Must Be the Place, which premiered over the weekend in the US at the Sundance Film Festival. It's a film about a pop icon who turns his back on fame to live quietly in Ireland. "Turning one's back on stardom might be the highest form of common sense—one that I would aspire to be more complete with," Penn said. He plans to continue to act, however, and command the big bucks to help raise money for Haitian relief.