JVN Smacks Down Sean Penn over 'Ignorant, Transphobic' Remarks

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Monday February 7, 2022

Who better than "Queer Eye" grooming expert Jonathan Van Ness to address Sean Penn's remarks that American men are "wildly feminized" and have forsaken pants in favor of "putting on a skirt?"

Van Ness clapped back at Penn in a Twitter post in which JVN — who routinely wears dresses — schooled Penn, tweeting, "First of all Im non binary," Vanity Fair reported.

"Second, @SeanPenn your remarks are ignorant, transphobic, and devoid of intelligence," JVN added.

As previously reported at EDGE, the 61-year-old star of "Milk," "Fast Times at Ridgemont High," and many other notable films, had raised eyebrows with remarks to iNews in which he said men in America "have become wildly feminized," and added, "I don't think that being a brute or having insensitivity or disrespect for women is anything to do with masculinity, or ever did. But I don't think that [in order] to be fair to women, we should become them."

When asked about those remarks in an interview with UK newspaper The Independent in which Penn and his daughter and co-star Dylan Penn were promoting his new film "Flag Day," Penn reiterated that American men are "quite feminized," and added: "I have these very strong women in my life who do not take masculinity as a sign of oppression toward them. There are a lot of, I think, cowardly genes that lead to people surrendering their jeans and putting on a skirt."

Van Ness directly referenced those remarks, tweeting, "My cowardly genes have more strength, resolve, and beauty than you could understand."

The "Queer Eye" star also put in a pitch for his new Netflix docuseries, in which Van Ness investigates a broad variety of topics such as hair styling, figure skating, and the gender binary. "Sean is suffering from toxic masculinity & needs to watch Getting Curious," Van Ness declared.

Van Ness wasn't alone in decrying Penn's words. Thandiwe Newton, who plays an android on "Westworld," also called him out, Newsweek reported, taking to Twitter to post, "Dude what are you SAY-ING?? Like for REAL?"

"You're a jibbering FOOL," Newton added. "MF you used to be sexy but now you're just tragic."

Newton then got in another dig while giving a shout-out to Penn's ex-wife, Robin Wright.

"In front of your DAUGHTER!? That poor little mite. Thank God her Mum's so dope."

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.