Letters to the Editor: Sean Penn is right: It’s wrong to criticize his group’s COVID vaccination work

Actor Sean Penn, left, bumps elbows with Gov. Gavin Newsom at Dodger Stadium on Jan. 15.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: The undeserved criticism of Sean Penn’s nonprofit Community Organized Relief Effort, which is assisting the city of Los Angeles at its Dodger Stadium vaccination site, was appalling to me just as it was to Penn. It has become all too common for individuals to stand back and criticize well-meaning acts of kindness.

The work done on emergency rescues or mass vaccination efforts seldom lends itself to adhering to normal rules on employment. One of the complaints that angered Penn was about the food given to CORE employees and volunteers at Dodger Stadium; I’d say these people are fortunate to have food provided, as disaster work often doesn’t leave much time for eating or complaining about free meals.

The internet and social media have made it far too easy for people to be critical of anyone or anything, even something like CORE’s work. The negativity and criticism that appear everywhere are a sad commentary on the state of our society.


Thank you, Sean Penn, for all that you and your CORE workers and volunteers are trying to do.

Barbara Mathew, Villa Park


To the editor: I received my first vaccine shot recently at the Dodger Stadium mass vaccination site. Count mine as a voice of gratitude and appreciation amid the chorus of gripes echoing throughout the media.

Considering the thousands of people served every day at Dodger Stadium, the process was impressive for its organization and execution. Thanks to all involved in this program.

After I returned home, I read The Times’ article about Penn and CORE. Candidly, I’m not a fan of Penn as an actor, but objectively, Penn is a humanitarian worthy of the sincere appreciation and gratitude of all of us. His CORE team is terrific.

John Masero, San Pedro