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Sean Penn on His ‘El Chapo’ Interview: ‘My Article Failed’

A preview of an interview set to air on Sunday’s “60 Minutes” that Charlie Rose conducted with Sean Penn was broadcasted on Friday’s “CBS This Morning.” During that preview, Penn discussed his controversial interview with recently captured Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.

Penn insisted the motivation for his interview was to spur a conversation about the so-called “war on drugs.”

“This is somebody who — upon whose interview could I begin a conversation about the policy of the war on drugs. That was my simple idea,” Penn said. “‘We’re going to put all our focus — forget about blame — we’re going to put all our focus, all our energy, all our billions of dollars on the ‘bad guy,’ and what happens? You get another death the next day the same way.”

When asked if he had any regrets, Penn said that although he didn’t regret the interview itself, he regretted it didn’t inspire the conversation on the war on drugs and for that, he said the article had failed.

“I have a terrible regret … I have a regret that the entire discussion about this article ignores its purpose, which was to try to contribute to this discussion about the policy in the War on Drugs. Let’s go to the big picture of what we all want. We all want this drug problem to stop. We all want them — the killings in Chicago to stop. We are the consumer. Whether you agree with Sean Penn or not, there is a complicity there. And if you are in the moral right, or on the far left, just as many of your children are doing these drugs, just as many. And how much time have they spent in the last week since this article come out, talking about that? One percent? I think that’d be generous. My article has failed. Let me be clear, my article has failed.”

Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor

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