At the Cannes Film Festival, Sean Penn supported striking Hollywood writers and called companies’ use of AI in scriptwriting a “human obscenity.”
“There are a lot of new concepts that are being tossed about, you know, including the use of AI,” Penn said during a news conference. For producers to push back on that is plain human obscenity.”
Hollywood’s film and TV writers’ first work slowdown in 15 years was caused by AI disputes.
According to the guild, Hollywood studios, struggling with streaming profitability and dwindling ad income, have rejected the concept, saying they would only debate new technology once a year.
“It’s difficult… for so many people, so many writers, and so many people in the industry, to not be able to work during this time,” Penn said of the strikers. I think it’ll soul-search and see which side survives.”
Penn is at Cannes to promote “Black Flies,” a gritty New York City paramedic drama he appears in with Tye Sheridan.
Penn is known for his political and social involvement in addition to performing. He co-directed “Superpower,” a feature-length study of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, before and after Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022. This year’s Berlin Film Festival showed Penn’s documentary on global challenges.
As the strike continues and tensions increase over AI in scriptwriting, it is unclear how the industry will resolve this disagreement and satisfy both authors and studios.