The Surreal Meets Katrina

September 6th, 2005 // 16 Comments

Sean Penn headed to New Orleans to aid the victims of Katrina, and all didn’t go as well as planned.

Penn had planned to rescue children waylaid by Katrina’s flood waters, but apparently forgot to plug a hole in the bottom of the vessel, which began taking water within seconds of its launch.

The actor, known for his political activism, was seen wearing what appeared to be a white flak jacket and frantically bailing water out of the sinking vessel with a red plastic cup.

Relief was also been given by e.l.f. Cosmetics.

“e.l.f. Cosmetics has created 10,000 special Hurricane Katrina Relief Beauty Kits that include pressed powder, shimmering facial whip, lip moisturizer, lip gloss and mascara,” states a press release. “e.l.f. Cosmetics would like to do as much as they can to provide relief to this devastating situation. Thousands of people are without any of their belongings. Although makeup is a secondary need, e.l.f. hopes to get people back on track. This is a small token, but it’s a start.”

That just smacks as opportunistic self-promotion in the face of tragedy.

Sean Penn’s rescue bid sinks [Herald Sun]
No Relief In Sight [Pae Six]

By Miu von Furstenberg
  1. Shannon

    Yes, I’m sure after losing my home, my job – not having food or clean water, etc… a shimmering facial whip is going to help me get me back on track. Thanks e.l.f.

  2. Stormy70

    Actually, lots of the people here are looking for jobs now, and a little makeup is appreciated. It was a requested item at the shelter I volunteered at here in Texas. Would you want to go to work without make-up on? Uno cards were also in high demand.

  3. Natalie

    OMG!!!! e.l.f, just make a friggin’ cash donation and call it a day….pressed powder…Jaysus….

  4. Aubrey

    Sean Penn is such a loser. He claimed he went down there to “rescue the children”, friggin LIAR. He had loaded up that small boat with an entourage including his own personal photographers. There was NO ROOM on that boat for victims. Notice hes wearing a bullet proof vest (flackjacket) in that pic? Seanie-boy went down there for a shameless publicity stunt that backfired. This Anti-American scumbag makes me wanna puke.

  5. Mariana

    Yes, the cosmetics thing does smack of shameless self-promotion, but I guess after running away from the fetid swamp that is NOLA, a ‘lil pretty can’t hurt.

    The Sean Penn thing cracked me up. Two friends of mine actually met him in NOLA last Nov. (I guess he was scouting locations or shooting a film) and told me he came off as the pompous dickwad they expected. He’s a great actor, but he should have just written a fat check, left the photographers at home and let the pros do the rescuing.

  6. Aubrey

    Mariana- Your funny.

  7. Chilenita

    I have to say, I think the make-up company’s gesture shows considerable sensitivity. It will certainly make a little difference to the recipients’ morale and they are unlikely to rush out to buy make-up anytime in the near future. Good on you e.l.f. Let’s see more companies donating their ‘secondary needs’ products to save the evacuees’ precious time and effort in the recovery of some semblance of human dignity.

  8. tracy

    Aubrey — you rock ! Dead on. :-)

    If Sean Penn sucked anymore – he’d inhale his own dick.

  9. JC

    Oh come one! Wouldn’t everyone load up a boat with personal photographers if they were intent on saving people? I mean, we couldn’t have him doing such heroic things without being photographed, right? Geez! He should stay home and shut up!

  10. Mimi

    Motive. If the cosmetics company wasn’t shamelessly and opportunistically self-promoting, they would have been more discreet–do we really need to hear the words “shimmering facial whip”? If they felt the strong need to even issue a press release about this, they could simply have said that they gave make-up kits.

  11. mary

    Although I understand the make up factor and how it can be a high demand for women after what happened, I think elf could’ve donated cash as well…I highly doubt ppl will need lip moisturizers AND lip gloss.

  12. Carrie

    I am very angry at the effort to slam Sean Penn for his efforts to help
    the victims. He is RISKING HIS OWN LIFE. Sean has two young kids with
    Robin Wright Penn, do you really believe he is doing this for
    publicity.

    If you believe this either 1. You are a conservative who just hates
    Sean Penn because of his liberal action, and you are so selfish that
    you can’t see beyond your venom in this disaster.

    OR

    2. You are not selfish, just uninformed and believe what you hear in
    the media as fact.

    I believe that the PERSONAL PHOTOGRAPHER was one of two people:

    1. Robin Wright Penn’s brother, Richard Wright, is a photographer.
    Normally he shoots celebrities, but its not uncommon in disasters for
    photographers to use their skills to document tragedies. I have
    actually communicated with Richie (his nickname). He is a very sweet
    man and gave me so wise words when I needed them.

    2. Sean as most of you know has been doing reports for the San Franciso
    Examiner. He has traveled to Iraq twice, recently returned from Iran.

    Sean is hated by the Right ever since the march to war against Iraq. He
    was public in his opposition and went as far as traveling there. Of
    course they view him as Baghdad Sean. Any thinking, caring person
    probably did not hate Sean Penn. But there were a few (certainly at FOX
    news) who spilled hate towards him.

    If anyone remembers his marriage to Madonna, he aggressively is a
    private man. He has assaulted people for taking his photo. So the whole
    notion of him doing anything for publicity is utter bullshi-t.

    Although I know Bush doesn’t want us to play the “blame game” (which I
    would call “accountability”). Certainly anyone can agree that Sean Penn
    does not deserve any blame and he certainly should not be mocked.

    I thank everyone who has done anything to help, but I have a special
    place in my heart for those who RISK their lives to go down there.

    I know this is a gossip board and we speculate on celebs, etc… But
    honestly, this is a catastrophy, we need to support these individuals
    who are doing what our Govt isn’t doing.

    Be GRATEFUL for people such as Sean Penn, Jaime Foxx, Nate Berkus,
    Chirs Rock, Faith Hill, Angelina Jolie and the scores of people
    celebrity and non-celebrity who are not sitting on their asses.

  13. Thank you Carrie! I totally agree. Being here in Mississippi, in the midst of all of this, I am grateful for any help. Celebrities have come to the rescue faster than our government! It may bother people when celebrities create “publicity”, but what bothers me more is people losing their homes, loves ones, eveything they’ve ever worked for, starving, dehydrating, and living in inhumane conditions. Any help is appreciated, no matter who it comes from, I say thank you to Sean Penn for his efforts!! and as for the make up- I think that’s wonderful, my best friend was stuck in a piece of what was left of her home for 5 days, and when she was able to get to a shower and put on make up she was overjoyed- these things we take for granted in everyday life, until we can’t have them! Thumbs up for make up!!!

  14. bella

    Shut up Carrie — you stupid twat. You’re an idiot.

  15. Carrie

    Oh, Bella, you are so loving.

  16. The lopenzo

    Just passing. Doing my thesis research on how online blogging is breaking down news reporting. The Sean Penn “fiasco” is a perfect example:

    Personal account by Rolling Stone reporter M. Taibbi who was in the boat with Penn in NO. he was labeled by most bloggers and news services reported as a “personal photographer”:

    “I was on the boat with Sean Penn this weekend. That’s me in the background of the above photo. (he saw the boat bailing photo) The article you (spoke about) is completely mistaken. He did not bring a personal photographer. He came with me and his friend, a New Orleans writer named Douglas Brinkley, and the reason he came was because a friend of his had asked him to help him find a family member still stuck in her house. He did not consent to any photographs taken. The boat did spring a leak, but only at the end of the trip, after one of the people we pulled out of the water kicked the plug out by accident. The articles you read probably based reports on came from an Australian writer who was angry that Sean had declined an interview… ”

    Sincerely,
    M. Taibbi
    Reporter
    Rollling Stone Magazine

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