Was Sean Penn Banned from the Oscars' Governors Ball?

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Stop us if you've heard this one before: A beautiful, talented woman acclaimed by Hollywood finds romance with a younger man associated with The Hurt Locker, who just so happens to be attending the same Oscar ceremony as that woman's famous ex-husband. No, we're not talking about the Kathryn Bigelow-Mark Boal-James Cameron triangle that grabbed so many headlines this awards season -- at least, not this time. This one involves Sean Penn, Robin Wright and Hurt Locker producer Greg Shapiro, and it may have gotten Penn booted from the Governors Ball.

According to E!'s Marc Malkin, Best Actress presenter Penn (who Wright filed to divorce last August) had a backstage confrontation with Shapiro, who won an Oscar for producing Hurt Locker. Then things got a little fuzzy:

Minutes after Penn and Shapiro came face-to-face, "Academy officials...said he was banned from the Ball," one of my sources said.

Penn's rep insists there was no confrontation and that the actor chose not to stop by the Ball. A rep for the Academy would only say, "Sean Penn chose not to attend the Governors Ball." (Update: Late this morning, another rep for the Academy emailed me, insisting that Penn was never unwelcome at the Ball.)

The scuffle casts Penn's inscrutable Oscar presentation in a new light since as you may have deciphered, the actress Penn said was snubbed by both he and the Academy two years running was Wright, who Penn failed to thank during his Milk win and who the Academy neglected to nominate this year for her work in The Private Lives of Pippa Lee. No word on if he was staring right at Shapiro as he said it, or how Jason Reitman found himself snubbed from an Oscar moment yet again.

Sean Penn: Oscar Showdown With Robin Wright's New Boyfriend? [E!]


  • Furious D says:

    10 Other Possible Reasons Penn Wasn't At The Governor's Ball:
    1. Wore the same dress as Sarah Jessica Parker.
    2. Banned because he kept punching out the official photographer.
    3. Banned because he kept mispronouncing Wolfgang Puck's last name.
    5. Went to get some cigarettes and didn't come back.
    6. Didn't want to spend the night listening to James Cameron crying about losing out to an ex-wife.
    7. Elinor Burkett kept cutting in front of him in line, and he left in tears.
    8. Refused to attend the ball to protest Bea Arthur being left out of the memorial reel.
    9. The John Hughes memorial brought back too many bitter memories of the time he lost out the lead in 16 Candles to Molly Ringwald.
    10. No one wanted the smell of cigarettes and all encompassing resentment floating around the ball.

  • Anonymous says:

    Talk about rebound slumming. Considering that Shapiro supposedly lucked out and got an Oscar for doing absotely nothing on a great film (producer number 4 or 5 anyone?), and considering that the two are allegedly from politically-opposing territory, its not surprising that the country's greatest actor would think that the country's worst producer is an idiot. Too bad Penn didn't get a good punch in though! Bam! Right between the eyes!