Sean Penn Says #MeToo Divides Men And Women, 'A Receptacle Of The Salacious'

Like a cat leaving a dead bird on your pillow, Sean Penn has offered his thoughts on the #MeToo movement.

And like a dead bird on your pillow -- it was probably best left outside.

Appearing on NBC's Today this week, Penn was being interviewed alongside his The First co-star Natascha McElhone.

The First stars Penn and McElhone and follows a team of astronauts as they become the first humans to visit Mars. Penn stars as one of the five chosen astronauts while McElhone plays a CEO of the launch company, Vista.

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Today co-host Natalie Morales asked the pair if the occurrence of strong female characters was at all informed by the #MeToo movement. While McElhone spoke around the nuances of seeing strong women represented on screen, Penn took a different approach saying, "I'd like to think none of it was influenced by what they would call the movement of #MeToo".

"This is a movement that was largely shouldered by a kind of receptacle of the salacious," Penn said before adding, "we don't know what's a fact, in many of the cases."

"As soon as call something a moment that is a series of individual accusers, victims, accusations -- some of which are unfounded... the spirit of much of what has been the #MeToo movement is to divide men and women."

Penn went on to say that in discussions he has had privately with women, "There is a common sense that is not represented at all in the discussion".

As if to anticipate the backlash of brushing aside the movement, Penn went on to explain that the current media climate would -- for instance -- turn his comments against him.

"If Sean Penn says this, so-and-so is going to attack him for saying this because of that..."

Penn, perhaps, was alluding to his very checkered history of alleged violence including the claims that during his marriage to Madonna he was extremely violent. One alleged incident included striking her across the head with a baseball bat.

During that time Penn was also facing jail time for assaulting an extra on a film, he had also dangled a paparazzo off a ninth-storey balcony while shooting the film Shanghai Surprise and several years later was charged with vandalism and battery after attacking another paparazzo and breaking the man's camera.

"I’m very suspicious of a movement that gets glommed onto, in great stridency and rage, and without nuance," he told Morales.

"Even when people try to discuss it in a nuanced way, the nuance itself is attacked."

Featured image: NBC via Twitter.