Sean Penn and George Clooney both passionately care for the poor and unfortunate people of Haiti and Sudan. But the question remains: Who’s better at it?
Philanthropy is one of the most popular hobbies for rich Hollywood celebrities. It’s a nice way to save face, write a check, get some tax relief and get their pictures in tabloids and newspapers as “one of the good guys.” Plenty of celebrities give money to charities and good causes, but most never prove that they actually care.
However, Sean Penn and George Clooney—two of the greatest actors of our generation—care deeply. Over the past couple days Death And Taxes has documented Penn’s selfless commitment to the devastated people of Haiti and Clooney’s peace keeping efforts during an election weekend in genocide stricken Sudan.
And since we’ve realized that everything in life is a competition to demonstrate dominance and superiority, we’re begging the question: Who’s Hollywood’s philanthropic alpha dog?
In one corner we’ve got Sean Penn, measuring in at 5-foot-8, the recently divorced actor is winner of two Best Actor Oscars, and proud owner of the title for meanest and most intimidating scowl of any man in the under 6-feet division. When not filming critically acclaimed films he enjoys brawling with Paparazzi, illegally traveling to Cuba, and continues to keep a notebook full of George W. Bush insults.
He’s an activism superstar because of his commitment to the Haitian people post-cataclysmic earthquake. Since the quakes shook the country, which was already in desperate need of help, Penn hopped on a flight and moved his life down to Haiti. It’s been nearly a year since the natural disaster, and Penn is still there, and has no plans to ever move.
Penn runs a camp of 55,000 where he helps feed, clothe, and heal the poor Haitian citizens. The actor who hasn’t smiled in a movie since the early 80s, is a very hands-on philanthropist, proving the importance of being more than a paycheck. He’s a certified hero in Haiti, abandoning his bitterness in the United States, and tenderly kissing the cheeks of Cholera-stricken children.
In the other corner we’ve got George Clooney, who has spent the past decade proving to America and the world that he’s much more than a really good looking, charming, funny, cool guy. In fact he’s become an impressive and acclaimed actor. When he’s not busy being our generation’s Cary Grant, he enjoys vacationing at his private villa on beautiful Lake Como in Northern Italy. He’s also a devoted bachelor who enjoys having non-committal, yet somehow classy, relationships with a new gorgeous brunette model every couple years.
Clooney uses his effortless charm to raise tens of millions of dollars for whatever the current disaster fund of the moment is, and he’s outrageously good at it. When George Clooney asks America to donate, people literally throw their wallets and checkbooks at their television screens. But Clooney is much more than a great point man to run a telethon.
He’s currently wisely using his celebrity to suppress politically infused violence in the African nation of Sudan. Clooney knows that his mere presence would attract enough press to prevent the country from revisiting it’s genocidal past. And he’s dressing like Maury Safer on assignment—in his prime.
Clooney might not be personally disarming the military or pulling bullets wounds with his teeth, but his mere presence is saving lives.
But given what Penn has done for the Haitian people it’s hard to argue that he’s not the top dog in the celebrity philanthropic world. This is not to take away from Clooney though, who’s given a lot of his attention to a variety of worthy causes, it’s just that Penn is entirely committed to Haiti. For Clooney to catch up with Penn he’d have to do a lot more than oversee Sudan for a weekend.
Nevertheless, everyone is a winner in this battle royal, especially the people of Haiti and the Sudan.