Sean Penn Says Being Unvaccinated Like 'Pointing Gun in Somebody's Face'

Sean Penn has doubled down on his views against unvaccinated people going out in public, saying it's like "going around pointing a gun in somebody's face."

Earlier in August, the actor shared his belief that the COVID-19 vaccine should be mandatory, and urged potential movie theater goers to stay home if unvaccinated.

And in an interview with CNN's Michael Smerconish, to promote his new film Flag Day, Penn said: "Eventually, [Flag Day] will stream and that's a better time for the unvaccinated to see it, although I'll probably offend them out of that choice."

During the interview, he also discussed his decision to halt shooting scenes in July for Gaslit—a limited TV series about the Watergate scandal—until the entire cast and crew were vaccinated.

Explaining his decision, Penn said that the production team had a designated "zone" for actors and the crew members who were in close physical proximity to them, with all in that area vaccinated. However, he said, other crew members were not required to be vaccinated.

"Actors are protected, but if a stage hand is working alongside a stage hand who is not protected then they can get sick," Penn said told Smerconish on Saturday. "I didn't want to feel complicit in something that was just taking care of one group and not the other."

"And I do believe that everyone should get vaccinated," he went on. "I believe it should be mandatory, like turning your headlights on in the car at night. But obviously, that's not going to happen tomorrow."

Oscar winner Penn stated that he will will return to the set of Gaslit once he "can assure 100 percent of the crew has gotten vaccinated."

Sharing his own take with Penn, Smerconish said later in the interview: "I mean, I'm a great respecter of individual liberties. But this is not a seat belt.

"If you choose not to wear a seat belt, I wish you'd wear a seat belt. You're going to add to my insurance premiums if you get effed up in an accident. But this is different. This is you running the risk of contaminating everybody else in society."

After sharing that he has "some areas of strong belief in the Second Amendment," Penn stated: "With something like this, you can't go around pointing a gun in somebody's face, which is what it is when people are unvaccinated."

In an interview with Yahoo Entertainment earlier in August, Penn said that he was "frustrated" with the resistance he has seen among Americans who are eligible to take the COVID-19 vaccine but are refusing to take it.

"There's different kinds of hesitancies, and so I don't think that there's much excuse to not know the informational available anymore," he said.

"That's part of why I think it should be mandatory," Penn continued. "A resistance that's just based on a certain kind of... lack of imagination and understanding of anything that's helpful to the human race, I've become very frustrated by that. But I can only work within my own bounds and say that, for me, it should be mandatory."

Sean Penn
Sean Penn speaks during a press conference for the film "Flag Day" at the 74th edition of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, southern France, on July 11, 2021. The actor has said that COVID-19 vaccinations should be mandatory. JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP via Getty Images