Sean Penn Bemoans Cancel Culture as ‘Ludicrous’ After Calling for Pro-Trump Evangelical Leaders to Be ‘Impeached’

US actor and director and President of the Jury Sean Penn stands on stage during the Closing Ceremony of the 61st Cannes International Film Festival on May 25, 2008 in Cannes, southern France. The French film 'Entre Les Murs (The Class) about an inspired teacher in a tough urban school …
VALERY HACHE/AFP via Getty Images

Hollywood actor-director Sean Penn has denounced cancel culture as “ludicrous” even though he recently compared supporters of Donald Trump to al-Qaeda and called for pro-Trump evangelical leaders to be “impeached.”

Sean Penn spoke about cancel culture during an interview on the podcast “Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend.”

“When we’re destroying careers like that, what are we really achieving? What are we doing?” the two-time Academy Award-winning actor asked. “Or you look at politicians. I give a big nod to anybody that’s willing to enter the public arena who is doing so because they give a damn.”

During the podcast, Penn called cancel culture “ludicrous” and defended journalist Alexi McCammond, who lost her job as editor-in-chief of Teen Vogue in March after her anti-Asian tweets resurfaced.

Listen below:

Earlier this year, the Hollywood star compared Trump supporters to the al-Qaeda, the Islamist terror network, and then-President Trump to Osama bin Laden.

In another bizarre tweet, he said the Pope should “impeach” evangelical leaders who fail to denounce former President Trump.

During the Conan O’Brien podcast, Penn also spoke about playing the late gay activist Harvey Milk in the 2008 movie Milk, for which he won his second Oscar.

“Today, almost certainly, I would not be pemitted to be cast in that role,” he said. “We’re living in a time where if you’re playing a gay, elite character, you would have to be a gay man or a trans character.”

He said in today’s “pendulum-swing society that we’re in, you wonder at some point if only Danish princes can play Hamlet.”

Follow David Ng on Twitter @HeyItsDavidNg. Have a tip? Contact me at


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.