Actor Sean Penn has no patience for COVID-19 vaccination site staffers complaining about working conditions.
In a fiery letter obtained by the Los Angeles Times, the Oscar-winning actor blasted staffers who complained about poor working conditions at a mass vaccination center at L.A.’s Dodger Stadium supported by Penn’s CORE (Community Organized Relief Effort) nonprofit. The employee complaints appeared in the comments section of a New York Times article highlighting the site last week; Penn responded in an angry email to his staffers, telling them to quit if they don’t like it.
A staffer reportedly complained about working “18 hour days, six days per week” with few breaks in between while accusing Mayor Eric Garcetti of violating Occupational Safety and Health Administration rules. Another employee disputed the NYT’s claim that staff were being served Krispy Kreme breakfasts and Subway lunches, arguing that they “usually DON’T get breakfast, just coffee” and that the sandwiches were simple lettuce wraps sans Subway. Penn granted no quarter to the complaints, arguing they violate “everything that keeps us whole.”
“Those comments, which claimed to be revealing of inaccuracies about our vaccine effort at Dodger Stadium in a news report, were in themselves not only a propagation of deeper inaccuracies but also indulged the personal opinions of those alleged CORE staffers in a way that violates everything that keeps us whole,” Penn wrote.
Penn said unhappy staffers should just quit.
“It’s called quitting. 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. That’s my job. And that’s your job,” Penn wrote.
Penn lamented that the many partnerships enjoyed by CORE were put at risk by the two staffers who indulged their “whim of dissent in the low-hanging fruit of cyberspace.”
“So, when two from within our ranks make unilateral decisions to indulge their own whim of dissent in the low-hanging fruit of cyberspace, and to, in this situation, register such obscene critiques of valued partners, or CORE itself, the only thing they will have contributed to is a lessening of CORE’s impact in the fight against COVID-19,” he said. “A fissure that could collapse a life-saving enterprise. And 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.”
Penn concluded the email by praising his workers and offered his apology to those he overlooked.
“I do not feel that I have served you well enough in this mission in making sure that I communicate regularly to all of you just how extraordinary you are. I hope that for me too, this is the beginning of a better day, and that I will be able to offer you your deserved acknowledgment from my end,” Penn wrote. “To those I have overlooked, take this as my sincerest apology. I will try to look harder through the sea of masked faces to see the people behind them. No excuses. Only improvement. Let’s all summon every bit of strength to be a sum that is as great as the parts you all so individually represent.”