For the first time, an individual has been awarded the Producers Guild of America's Stanley Kramer Award, with Sean Penn singled out Saturday night for his humanitarian efforts in Haiti. On hand to present the award was U.S. Army Major Brian Woolworth, who worked with Penn during the major's eight-month stint in the ravaged country.
Woolworth described in detail Penn's involvement with his JP Haitian Relief Organization that was instrumental in relocating Haitians from dangerous flood areas. He managed a camp, carried individual Haitians' belongings and worked tirelessly from 4 a.m. to 11 p.m., Woolworth said. "He demonstrates what we in the military call leadership," he added. "He's committed to elevating the human condition in Haiti."
Penn kept his speech short and sweet, indicating that he was asked to be brief, so he vowed to save the polemics and split the difference. He then recited a single paragraph, written by William Saroyan, that served as inspiration for Penn's life. And he concluded with a simple plea: "With your help Haiti will triumph. Stick it out with us. Support the Haitian people."
-- Nicole Sperling
Photo: Sean Penn. Credit: Associated Press