News Column

Kid Rock, Sean Penn Star in Short Film Promoting Unity During Election Season

Oct. 11, 2012

Brian McCollum

Kid Rock, Sean Penn Star in Short Film

With another contentious election in the wings, Kid Rock and Sean Penn have a simple message for their countrymen: Love thy neighbor.

The Republican-supporting Rock and Hollywood lefty Penn have teamed up for the video featurette "Americans -- a Public Service Film," released last night on YouTube.

The lighthearted but well-meaning clip, directed by budding filmmaker and former Michigander Jameson Stafford, portrays the two political foes putting aside their differences to explore each other's worlds: Rock trades in his vintage Chevy for a Prius, convinces Penn to exchange a frilly drink for a domestic beer, and dons a PETA activist shirt while Penn wears a NASCAR tee.

All is set to the tune of fellow Detroit musician Uncle Kracker's song "Smile."

Look for a cameo by Rock's dad -- metro Detroiter Bill Ritchie -- who plays a priest attending an ocean-side gay wedding.

"Don't let politics divide us," the film's tagline reads. "Thinking differently is what made this country great."

Already garnering attention from political news media and music sites, the video has potential to become a viral hit with U.S. elections looming Nov. 6. It had racked up nearly 37,000 hits by midday, with a comments section largely free -- so far -- of the vitriol that usually attends YouTube political videos.

Rock has already cast his lot with Mitt Romney: In February he performed at the Republican presidential contender's campaign stop in Royal Oak. On Monday appeared at an Oakland University rally with vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan.

Note: The video contains explicit language. Watch it here.

Source: (c)2012 the Detroit Free Press. Distributed by MCT Information Services.

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