Since actor Sean Penn questioned rapper Wyclef Jean‘s bid to run for the presidency in Haiti months after a fatal earthquake hit his country, the Fugees frontman has responded.
In Jean’s statement, he assured Penn of the seriousness behind wanting to become president.
The singer also fumed when aides told him that actor Sean Penn, who has been managing an earthquake-survivor camp in the Haitian capital since the spring, had accused Jean of not spending enough time in Haiti after the quake and misappropriating $400,000 of the $9 million his charity, Yele Haiti, raised after the disaster. “I just want Sean Penn to fully understand I am a Haitian, born in Haiti and I’ve been coming to my country ever since (I was) a child,” he said. “He might just want to pick up the phone and meet, so he fully understands the man.” (Washington Post)
Talking with CNN yesterday, Penn was skeptical of Clef’s decision to run for office.
“The last thing in the world Haiti needs — and I’m not accusing Wyclef Jean of being an opportunist, I don’t know the man … I worry that this is more a campaign about flying around the world talking to people, as he said. I would be quite sure it is of an influence of businesses here in the United States. One of the things Haiti needs is a leader who is genuinely willing to sacrifice.” (CNN)
Clef has also received opposition from Fugees member and cousin, Pras.
Pras, a cousin of Mr. Jean and a fellow Haitian-American performer who worked with him in that influential rap group, told The Daily News of New York that he backed one of his former bandmate’s rivals. In a statement, Pras, whose name is Prakazrel Michel, told The Daily News that he supported Michel Martelly “as the next president of Haiti because he is the most competent candidate for the job,” and wrote on his Twitter feed,”I support and believe in my heart that Michel Martelly is prez for Haiti!” Like Pras and Mr. Jean, Mr. Martelly is also a Haitian musician, and performs under the stage name Sweet Micky. (New York Times)
The Haiti presidential election will take place at the end of November.
Haiti is scheduled to vote on a new president on November 28. Jean has long been socially active, and he took a prominent role in raising relief money after the Haitian earthquake in January. His charity the Yéle Haiti Foundation came under fire after critics accused him of misusing funds from the organization. He denied the charges and pledged to be more vigilant. (Wall Street Journal)
Check out Sean Penn speaking on Wyclef Jean’s presidential run down below: