Daily Beast Stirs Oscar Pot by Creating a Feud Between Mickey Rourke and Sean Penn

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Alan Reid, The Gesture That Broke the Band (2008). Photo: Courtesy of Fox Searchlight; Courtesy of Focus Features

Anyone who has even a passing familiarity with the Oscars understands that there's a long history of dirty politics between studios when it comes to securing nominations and, more important, wins (*cough* Harvey Weinstein *cough*). This politicking rarely becomes public fodder, but when it has, it has almost always been confined to the Best Picture category. However, this year's Best Actor race just took a turn for the ugly when an anonymous "Los Angeles entertainment honcho" leaked a private text message sent to him/her by Mickey Rourke to Gerald Posner of the Daily Beast. The contents of the alleged text message are potentially explosive in that Rourke took issue with Sean Penn's performance in Milk, saying "he did an average pretend acting like he was gay" before adding that "hes [sic] one of the most homophobic people i kno [sic]." Posner also salaciously notes that Rourke allegedly told "someone backstage" at the Late Show With David Letterman last week, “I’m not even sure [Penn will] get a nomination.” We'll be honest with you: Posner's inability and/or unwillingness to provide on-the-record substantiation makes us here at Vulture raise a curious eyebrow with regards to this story's believability (and, by extension, the Daily Beast's overall credibility). But, as they say, this one's developing…

Rourke Trashes Penn [Daily Beast]