Sean Penn has written a scathing 2,000 word email to staff at his non-profit organization who are helping run a COVID-19 vaccine site at Los Angeles’ Dodger Stadium after two of them complained online about their lunches and working long hours.
The 60-year-old lashed out at staff from his CORE (Community Organized Relief Effort) non-profit over complaints that appeared on a New York Times article last week regarding the vaccine roll out at Dodger Stadium.
In the email, which was obtained by the LA Times, Penn suggested that those who were ‘predisposed to a culture of complaint’ and ‘broad-based cyber whining’ should quit.
He accused those who commented of engaging in a ‘broad betrayal of all’ and described the ‘highly visible’ comments as ‘shameful entries’ and ‘obscene critiques’.
The comments in question were made by people who say they are staffers at the Dodger vaccine site.
Sean Penn, 60, lashed out at staff from his CORE non-profit over complaints that appeared on a New York Times article last week regarding the vaccine roll out at Dodger Stadium. He is pictured helping out at a COVID-19 vaccine site in LA in December
The first comment, written by ‘staff #2’, took issue with workers being given the ‘same old lettuce wraps’ for lunch every day.
‘We do NOT get krispy kreme for breakfast. In fact, we usually DON’T get breakfast, just coffee. And the lunch is NOT subway. It’s the same old lettuce wraps every day. It’s free lunch for staff/volunteers so I’m not complaining but still… not subway,’ the person wrote.
The second comment, written by ‘CORE staff’, contained complaints about working ’18 hour days, 6 days a week’ without any backup.
‘It exists because the mayor ordered that we transition from a test site to a vaccination site in less than a week. If we had more time to transition, we wouldn’t have staff working these hours without the opportunity to take breaks – they are schedulers and are essential to the function of the site.
‘Without them, we wouldn’t be vaccinating. The mayor more or less ordered an OSHA violation. There is a shipping container on site that is a designated space for overworked staff to go cry in. If you’re not let into this shipping container, it’s because staff are crying inside. Garcetti created these conditions and looks like a hero for it.’
The vaccine site is run by the city of Los Angeles in partnership with the LA Fire Department, the Dodgers, Curative and Penn’s nonprofit.
The first comment, written by ‘staff #2’, took issue with workers being given the ‘same old lettuce wraps’ for lunch every day
The second comment, written by ‘CORE staff’, contained complaints about working ’18 hour days, 6 days a week’ without any backup
Penn received the COVID-19 vaccine last month because he and his charity staff are helping administer the doses
It is not clear how many of Penn’s staff make up the group at the Dodger vaccine site. It also isn’t clear if the two people who commented on the initial story are actually CORE staffers.
Penn received the COVID-19 vaccine last month because he and his charity staff are helping administer the doses.
His non-profit started offering free COVID-19 test sites last year during the pandemic.
Penn’s email described the comments left by his staff as ‘dissent in the low-hanging fruit of cyberspace’.
‘To whoever authored these, understand that in every cell of my body is a vitriol for the way your actions reflect so harmfully upon your brothers and sisters in arms. I have taken counsel and here will refrain from using the words with which I would otherwise choose to describe the character of your actions,’ he wrote.
He added that CORE has a ‘strong complaint procedures’ for staff and that anyone who was predisposed to complaining online should quit.
‘Quit for CORE. Quit for your colleagues who won’t quit. Quit for your fellow human beings who deeply recognize that this is a moment in time. A moment of service that we must all embody sometimes to the point of collapse,’ he wrote.
Mara Buxbaum, a representative for CORE and Penn, disputed the long-hours, saying volunteers worked eight-hour shifts and are paid per hour.
‘Penn’s internal memo to the staff speaks for itself,’ she said.
Penn’s non-profit called CORE has been helping to run the COVID vaccine site at Dodger Stadium
CORE staffers are pictured above in yellow vests at the mass vaccination site in Los Angeles last month