Singer Wyclef Jean is fighting back against his biggest critics in his bid to become the next President of Haiti, actor Sean Penn and former Fugees bandmate Pras. Wyclef even went so far as to sing a song he wrote for a concert he performed in New York City last Friday accusing Sean Penn of snorting cocaine while in Haiti doing humanitarian work after the massive earthquake in January destroyed half of the impoverished country.
Haiti’s board of elections officials had already ruled Jean was ineligible to run for President of Haiti due to him not living in the country for the required amount of time before running. While Wyclef initially said he would accept the ruling of the election board he has since retracted his statement and vowed to fight to be on the ballot.
Sean Penn came out immediately after Wyclef announced he was running for President saying Wyclef had no idea what he was up against with a country as devastated as Haiti. Wyclef contends he is running for President as a way to get help to the country and make it into a country that is rich and self sufficient.
During the concert sponsored by Hot 97 Wyclef sang an altered version of his hit “If I Was President” saying, “I got a message for Sean Penn. Maybe he ain’t see me in Haiti because he was too busy sniffing cocaine. I got a message for Praswell/Even though you don’t want to support me, I got love for you/Even though you only kicked eight bars in the Fugees.”
Some critics have already stepped up to say Wyclef Jean took the feud he was having too far by accusing Penn of snorting cocaine, saying politics always comes with critics. They have also accused Jean of playing a dirty political game to advance his own career.
In a statement released after the footage from the concert was broadcast Saturday a representative for Sean Penn said,“Mr. Jean is clearly unfamiliar with the physical demands put upon volunteers in Haiti. As aid workers there, the notion of depleting the body’s immune system through the use of illicit drugs is ludicrous. More specifically, J/P Haitian Relief Organization (a.k.a. JPHRO) has a ZERO tolerance policy for any and all illegal drugs. As the leader of this organization, Sean Penn has not only set this policy, but adheres to it. That Mr. Jean would make such a false accusation is reckless and saddening, but not surprising.”
The feud between Wyclef and Sean Penn apparently started after Penn wrote a critical article about Jean and his effort in Haiti to help the country in the aftermath of the devastating 7.0 earthquake in January that killed over 300,000 people. In the article Penn wrote that while Jean clearly made his voice known in the country through his charity Yéle Haiti, for the most part he was never actually seen in the country doing anything. Yéle Haiti came under fire after it was revealed Wyclef Jean was using money donated to the charity for his own personal expenses while in Africa.
For all the negative words being thrown back and forth between Wyclef and Sean Penn, the other party involved, Pras, real name Prakazrel Samuel Michel, has remained quiet.