Humanitarian actor Sean Penn pulled out of receiving a lifetime achievement award in Dubai on Monday (13Dec10) after jetting to Haiti because "the situation" in the crisis-hit country has "worsened".
The star was due to receive the accolade from officials at the Dubai International Film Festival but he instead chose to continue work with his JP Haitian Relief Organization, which he set up in the aftermath of January's (10) earthquake.
Penn was compelled to fly to Haiti earlier this month (Dec10) after discovering a deadly outbreak of cholera sweeping across the country since is getting worse, and he wants to ensure his charity staff are not at risk.
In a statement, he says, "I am honoured to receive the Dubai Film Festival Lifetime Achievement Award and had every intention of being there to accept it in person.
"Regretfully, the situation in Haiti has worsened and it was of the utmost importance that I be there to ensure the safety of my staff and the J/P HRO camp."
Colin Firth was also honoured on Monday night, receiving Variety Magazine's International Star of the Year for his role in The King's Speech, which has been tipped for Oscars glory next year (11).