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Sean Penn has been honored by the Producers Guild of America for his efforts to explore social issues. The Guild will present the actor and charity activist with the Stanley Kramer Award at their award ceremony on January 22.

This award is named after filmmaker Stanley Kramer, whose issue-orientated movies included “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” and “The Defiant One."

Penn will be the first individual to receive this award. In the past, it have been presented for socially-mined movies such as “An Inconvenient Truth," “Hotel Rwanda,” and “I Am Sam," which starred Penn himself.

Paula Wagner, chair of the Producers Guild Awards, said Sean is a committed activist who has "shed light on powerful stories, causes and individuals."

Sean Penn has had confrontations with paparazzi in the past.