Sean Penn suing over loss of movie role


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Monkeyleg
May 12, 2003, 07:33 PM
Penn can sue for loss of film role
By Jennifer Harper
THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Is there really a Hollywood blacklist against performers who don't support the Bush administration? The answer may lie in a Los Angeles courtroom.

A California judge has ruled that actor Sean Penn can pursue a legal claim that he was fired from a film because of his piquant political views and a brief visit he made to Iraq last December.

Mr. Penn is perhaps sensitive to the issue. His father, actor and director Leo Penn, was one of 300 Hollywood regulars "blacklisted" during the hearings from 1947 to 1951 of the House Committee on Un-American Activities, which examined the possible Communist underpinnings of the performers.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Irving Feffer, who categorized his decision as "easy," ruled Friday that Mr. Penn could sue film producer Stephen Bing.

The case could present a dramatic legal tableau, though CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin thinks the case won't make it to court.

"In a Hollywood trial, the two sides will rattle on about the principle of the matter," Mr. Toobin said in an interview Friday, "but nine times out of 10, these things settle out of court because no one wants to risk total defeat. Fundamentally, this is a breach of contract case and a financial matter."

Indeed.

Mr. Penn wants $10 million from Mr. Bing, who released the actor from a comedy film project in February. The actor said that the situation borrowed "a page from the dark era of Hollywood blacklisting," and that he was wrongly terminated.

Mr. Bing, in turn, is suing Mr. Penn for $15 million, claiming the actor is trying to extort money and aspires "to turn their business dispute into a First Amendment crusade."

"Penn crosses over a bright line into unprotected speech when he publicly advocated the violent overthrow of the U.S. government," Mr. Bing said in court papers, adding that Mr. Penn trashed "any standard of decency" by posing for photographs under a portrait of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein and meeting with regime officials during his visit to Baghdad.

Mr. Penn is currently at work on the film, "The Assassination of Richard Nixon," based on the true story of an insurance salesman who planned to kill President Nixon in 1974 by hijacking an airliner and crashing it into the White House.

Though he recently has dampened his political commentary, Mr. Penn made much noise last year. Last October, he purchased a full-page ad in The Washington Post that accused the White House of ignoring diplomatic alternatives in the build-up to war in Iraq. During his Baghdad visit, Mr. Penn declared himself a "patriot" and called the war "an unprecedented pre-emptive attack on a separate sovereign nation."

The news media pounced, and "vilification began immediately from jingoistic media outlets," said Norman Solomon of Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, a New York-based anti-censorship media watchdog group.

Several dozen famous actors and musicians also protested the war, signed petitions and made strident public statements in the past six months — saying their ire was directed at the Bush administration, not American troops. A groundswell of negative publicity followed, prompting such Hollywood stars as Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon to claim a "witch hunt" was afoot.

Though a blacklist has yet to emerge, Mr. Robbins, Miss Sarandon and Mr. Penn are depicted on a new "Deck of Weasels" card deck produced by the online news site "NewsMax" and meant as a companion to the Pentagon's official "Deck of Death" cards depicting fugitives from Saddam's regime.

Mr. Bing, 37, and the heir to a $400 million real estate fortune, had his own tabloid travails after actress Elizabeth Hurley used DNA tests to prove in court last year that he had fathered her son.

He was named in another paternity suit by MGM owner Kirk Kerkorian, who claimed Mr. Bing was the father of his ex-wife's daughter.

Mr. Bing responded with a $1 million invasion-of-privacy suit.

As of Friday, representatives for Mr. Penn and Mr. Bing had no comment on their dispute, which begins with a preliminary hearing on June 18.

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Shalako
May 12, 2003, 07:46 PM
In resounding fairness, and despite any legal degree or knowledge thereof, I'd have to side with anyone who shagged Elizabeth Hurley over a bitter disenfranchised downward carreer spiralling commie america-hating Sean Penn...

Case closed.

BenW
May 12, 2003, 07:58 PM
So when do conservative actors (the few there are) get to sue Hollywood for the loss of roles for not playing in the liberal playground?

HBK
May 12, 2003, 11:13 PM
He should sue someone over his lack of talent.

Carlos
May 12, 2003, 11:31 PM
That's funny. ;)

Frivolous BS lawsuit. This actor thinks he's a traitor.

One day when the rest of the US maybe decides that ************ is totally FU, maybe we can have constitutional/war crimes trials for these dirtbags, starting with Hollywood, then heading for La La Swinestein Land and Chuckie's World. ... just for starters.

Every single day, it just gets better. Today, the topper was the Oreo lawsuit. :what:

XLMiguel
May 13, 2003, 09:44 AM
Penn wants to make a business deal gone bad into a 1st Amendment case. Moron.

foghornl
May 13, 2003, 09:59 AM
Is there really a Hollywood blacklist against performers who don't support the Bush administration? If that was really true, only Tom Selleck & Kurt Russel would have work....:evil:

Dannyboy
May 13, 2003, 11:17 AM
I thought Steve Bing was a total dirtbag for what he did to Liz Hurley but he definitely gets points for this:
"Penn crosses over a bright line into unprotected speech when he publicly advocated the violent overthrow of the U.S. government," Mr. Bing said in court papers, adding that Mr. Penn trashed "any standard of decency"

BigG
May 13, 2003, 11:41 AM
I'm glad some of these self-appointed spokespersons are paying with their wallet for their fat mouths. Now if the same could only apply to Algore, Clinton, Schumer, Feinstein, Teddy...

DRC
May 13, 2003, 02:17 PM
Thanks for posting this article.

I do agree with the prediction that "free speech" will be the next targeted issue for these unrealistic folks. It has often amazed me that when those with popularity in the public eye say or do something that "offends" others they feel as if they should be immune from all backlash because they're "popular" When the general public that supports them (not the government) gets offended and decideds not to support them that is their fans "freedom of speech" which the celebrities think is unfair and a violation of their rights as Americans. Never once do the celebrities think that by there attitudes and actions toward this that they are in effect saying that they themselves have rights but no one else does when it comes to voicing opinion.

Celebrities that believe that they should be allowed to say and do whatever they wish without repercusions should try to find a doctor to give them a shot of "reality" so they can see just how deep their hypocracy really goes.

I would still like to see the Dixie Chicks naked though. :) And Tim Robbins and a host of others are good actors in their own right, but they should stick to acting. Having seen so many of the uninformed speak out reminds me of something one of my employers said many moons ago "Sometimes it's better to hide ones ignorance rather than to open ones mouth and show it to everyone." I thought that was somewhat profound. :)

Take care,

DRC

Frohickey
May 13, 2003, 04:10 PM
So far, this is not gun-related. :uhoh:

Monkeyleg
May 13, 2003, 07:31 PM
This is Legal/Political, Frohickey. It doesn't have to relate to guns.

DRC, I've lost all respect for Tim Robbins. He played a good role in "Shawshank Redemption," but his adolescent tirade against GW and Fox News was beyond ridiculous. It looked like a child's temper tantrum (and the speechwriting was about seventh-grade level as well).

"Susan and I have been listed as traitors, as supporters of Saddam, and various other epithets by the Aussie gossip rags masquerading as newspapers, and by their fair and balanced electronic media cousins, 19th Century Fox. :barf:

Blackcloud6
May 13, 2003, 07:33 PM
I think he ate too many Oreo cookies...

foghornl
May 14, 2003, 08:59 AM
Someone should arrest Penn's parents for "Creating a Public Nuisance"....:evil: :evil:

DRC
May 14, 2003, 11:07 AM
Sean's parents should be slapped for giving birth to an idiot.

As to Tim Robbins and Susan, I don't put any thought into their words nor do I have respect for their position, bu they are good actors. They should stick with acting because it's the only thing they do intelligently or well ;)

Take care,

DRC

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