Sean Penn Under Fire for ‘Crazy’ El Chapo Interview

“Why didn’t Sean Penn ask El Chapo how many real journalists his organization has killed?” a New Yorker reporter writes on Twitter

Sean Penn and El Chapo
Rolling Stone

Sean Penn is taking heat on multiple fronts for his bombshell interview with Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.

Rolling Stone published Penn’s interview on Saturday night, one day after Mexican authorities recaptured the Sinaloa cartel boss. In his article, Penn detailed traveling to Mexico with actress Kate del Castillo to sit down with El Chapo, but not everyone was impressed.

“If one of these American actors who have benefited from the greatness of this country, who have made money from our free enterprise system, want to go fawn all over a criminal and a drug trafficker in their interviews, they have a Constitutional right to do it,” Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.” “I find it grotesque.”

During Penn’s interview, El Chapo talked about GOP frontrunner Donald Trump, who has described Mexican immigrants in the U.S. as “rapists” and “criminals.”

Trump appeared on NBC and Fox News on Sunday, but the conversations were taped and did not include his reaction to the article. However, White House chief of staff Denis McDonough did weigh in on the story.

“It poses a lot of very interesting questions both for him and for others involved in this-so-called interview, so we’ll see what happens on that – I’m not going to get ahead of it,” McDonough told CNN.

The journalism world was much more critical of Penn and Rolling Stone.

Washington Post executive editor Marty Baron took aim at the Hollywood actor, by tweeting a link to an article that said real journalists who cover Mexican drug traffickers often end up dead.

New Yorker writer Ben Taub tweeted a similar response: “Why didn’t Sean Penn ask El Chapo how many real journalists his organization has killed?”

Meanwhile, New Yorker editor Nicholas Thompson called Penn’s story “crazy.”

“Every single sentence here is crazy in one way or another,” he tweeted.

Read below for a compilation of tweets.