Sean Penn mocked for Rolling Stone magazine article detailing his meeting with drug lord El Chapo

There were jokes, memes and serious criticism of the Hollywood star's trip to Mexico

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The Independent Online

While Mexico says it wants to investigate Sean Penn over his secret meeting with the then fugitive drug lord Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman, the Hollywood star is also facing ridicule over his bizarre write-up of the rendezvous in Rolling Stone magazine.

From admitting he doesn’t know how to use a computer, to expressing fears for the safety of certain parts of his anatomy and revealing how he broke wind in front of the world’s most wanted man, Penn’s gonzo-inspired journalism has not been received well online.

Others struck a more serious note, criticising the Hollywood star’s glorification of a man responsible for the brutal murders of thousands of people, with Penn’s comparison of El Chapo to Superman considered particularly distasteful.

“At the very least, Sean Penn just gave me the confidence to believe I deserve to be a published author too,” Twitter user Zandy Hartig wrote. Meanwhile CBC Radio News host Tom Harrington added: “Sean Penn has done for journalism what Milli Vanilli did for singing” – a reference to the 80s pop group whose lack of vocal talent was famously exposed when a backing track broke onstage.

Another CBC News host, David Common, mocked Penn’s new career claiming that after his El Chapo encounter the 55-year-old might now be looking to host the network’s acclaimed 60 Minutes news and investigations programme.

American actor Mark Ruffalo leapt to Penn’s defence, however, reminding readers that this isn’t the first major figure the Mystic River star has interviewed, having met with Cuban leader Raul Castro and the late Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez.

While photographs of Penn were quickly turned into comical memes and even the New Yorker joined in the fun by joking that ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi had abruptly cancelled his own meeting with the actor, not every thought the situation was worthy of jokes.

Watch the moment drug lord El Chapo escapes prison

“Why didn't Sean Penn ask El Chapo how many real journalists his organization has killed?,” freelance journalist Ben Taub wrote in a post that has already been shared more than 500 times.