On Thursday, Wyclef Jean announced on CNN’s Larry King Live that he would officially be running for the presidential position in Haiti. His decision has sparked some debate, and even actor Sean Penn is speaking up on the contentious issue. The Oscar-winning performer, who has spent the last half-year in the island country, criticized Wyclef, saying that the musician is a “non-presence” in the country.
“What the Haitian people need now is a leader who is genuinely willing to sacrificed,” Penn told CNN. “I haven’t seen or heard anything of him in these last six months that I’ve been in Haiti.”
Wyclef later responded to Penn’s statements via the Miami Herald. “I feel that it is irresponsible for him to attack my character like that without proof of talking to me. Because everything he is saying is pure speculation. Because he is in one little area…He can’t let that be judged for nine million people inside of a country. That’s very unprofessional. I look forward to having a fas a fas with him.”
Since the devastating Jan. 12 earthquake, which is estimated to have killed 300,000 people and displaced 1.5 million people, several candidates have registered for the president position, including Wyclef’s 78 year-old uncle, Raymond Joseph, who acted as the U.S. Ambassador for five years.