Sean Penn, El Chapo and Hollywood’s mutual fascination with Big Crime

Movie star Sean Penn detailed his secret October meeting with Mexican drug lord "El Chapo" in a Rolling Stone article published Jan. 9. Here's what you need to know about it. (Monica Akhtar/The Washington Post)

It may be tempting to chalk up Sean Penn’s recent encounter with Mexican drug lord and prison escapee Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán to the actor’s long-standing penchant for inserting himself into the heart of geopolitical intrigue. But the episode continues a well-established tradition of symbiotic codependence and mutual regard between Hollywood and organized crime.

Like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers (“He gives her class, and she gives him sex”), organized crime and Hollywood have given each other what they needed most, whether in the form of capital, muscle and the alluring aroma of danger on the one hand, or legitimacy, proximity to celebrity and a glamorous public image on the other. READ WASHINGTON POST FOR DETAIL OF THIS STORY

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