Actor Sean Penn Berates Nonprofit Staff Administering Vaccines After Complaining About Work Conditions

Sean Penn

Actor Sean Penn’s rage has landed him in the headlines more than once. Now is no exception, but sadly this time, those who are trying to administer the COVID-19 vaccine were the recipients of his wrath. Penn’s nonprofit, Community Organized Relief Effort, has been aiding in the administering of COVID-19 vaccines in Los Angeles.

Allegedly two employees complained about the work conditions, sparking a rapid response from Penn. It all started with a January 28 New York Times story describing a day at one of the vaccination sites, Dodger Stadium. The two employees reportedly commented on the Times’ story publicly.

“One self-described ‘CORE staff’ member said the employees were overworked after LA Mayor Eric Garcetti switched the stadium from a virus testing site to a vaccination center” reports the New York Post. The staff member wrote they worked 18-hour days, six days each week, without the opportunity to take breaks.”

A second anonymous employee rebutted the Times’ assertion that site workers received “Krispy Kreme for breakfast and Subway for lunch.” The individual wrote, “We usually DON’T get breakfast, just coffee” and added lunch was “NOT” Subway, but “the same old lettuce wraps every day. It’s free lunch for staff/volunteers so I’m not complaining but still…not Subway” wrote the worker.

In the letter to staff, which was leaked to the Times, an enraged Penn wrote a “scathing 2,200-word email to staffers Friday, in which he accused the unnamed pair of ‘obscene critiques’ and said they should quit, The Los Angeles Times reported.” Penn’s letter began, “to whoever authored these, understand that in every cell of my body is a vitriol for the way your actions reflect so harmfully upon your brothers and sisters in arms.”

That doesn’t sound like an apology? Penn continued, saying CORE, which he co-founded after the Haiti earthquake in 2010, has “strong complaint procedures and endless other internal avenues for productive criticism” from staffers. Clearly, Penn cared not so much about the content of the complaints, but the publicity of them.

Anyone “predisposed to a culture of complaint” and “broad-based cyber whining” should just quit, he added. “It’s called quitting…Quit for CORE. Quit for your colleagues who won’t quit. Quit for your fellow human beings who deeply recognize that this is a moment in time. A moment of service that we must all embody sometimes to the point of collapse.” One question…has anyone seen Penn himself volunteering or administering vaccines for 18-hours on end without a break, to “the point of collapse?” Didn’t think so.