Attention, celebrities of the world. If you've ever wondered what the quickest way to achieve total villainization in the British press is, well, fear not—Sean Penn has done the leg work on that one for you.
And it's almost brilliant in its simplicity: Just launch into an unrelenting personal attack of Prince William.
No, really. So what on Earth could cause the Oscar winner to take to task the heir to the throne?
Politics. Um, surprise?
Essentially, Penn is accusing the British media of pushing for war over diplomacy to resolve their ongoing and contentious dispute with Argentina, and calls Prince William's current six-week deployment to the Falklands nothing short of a provocation.
"There are many places to deploy a prince," Penn said after meeting with Uruguay President Jose Mujica. "It's not necessary when the deployment of a prince is generally accompanied by a warship, to send them into seas of such spilled blood."
While Kate Middleton's hubby has been sent to the British outpost as part of a routine assignment for search-and-rescue helicopter training as part of his Royal Air Force exercises, he was accompanied in his travels by a powerful British destroyer, the HMS Dauntless, though the British government insisted its deployment was routine.
"It's unthinkable that the United Kingdom can make a conscious decision to deploy a prince within the military to the Malvinas, knowing the great emotional sensitivity both of mothers and fathers in the United Kingdom and in Argentina who lost sons and daughters in a war over islands with a population of so few."
Needless to say, the Brits haven't exactly embraced Penn's not-so-constructive (or welcome) geopolitical criticism.
Bear in mind it was just a day before that he called Britain's presence in the area a "ludicrous and archaic commitment to colonialist ideology." That's lesson No. 2 in how not to ingratiate yourself to Britons, for those keeping score at home.
Well, Penn isn't the only one who can grandstand.
"What on Earth has this got to do with Sean Penn?" former army officer and current Tory MP Patrick Mercer told the Daily Mail. "He's neither British nor Argentine and seems to know nothing about the situation judging by his moronic comment. A good number of his movies have been turkeys, so I suppose we shouldn't expect much better coming out of his mouth."
Pistols at dawn, anyone? Not quite. The royal family has yet to—and isn't likely to ever—address Penn's comments.
Though he should probably kiss any hopes of an honorary knighthood goodbye.