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Sean Penn refuses to apologise for Oscars green card joke

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Actor Sean Penn says he has “absolutely no apologies” to make over his controversial green card joke at this year’s Oscars.

Before announcing the best picture winner at last month’s Academy Awards, Sean Penn joked: “Who gave this son of a bitch his green card?”

Sean Penn, 54, was referring to Birdman‘s Mexican director, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu.


Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, a long-time friend of the actor who directed him in 21 Grams, said he found it “hilarious”. But some pundits were less impressed.

Entertainment Weekly‘s Nina Terrero tweeted she would never see a Sean Penn film again, saying she was “shocked, angry [and] upset” at his “disgusting” comment.Sean Penn Oscars 2015

The Washington Post‘s Elahe Izadi accused Sean Penn of insensitivity: “Hey congrats on winning the award of your life here’s a green card joke to announce it.”

“I’m always surprised by flagrant stupidity. I keep having more hope,” said Sean Penn on March 7 in Los Angeles during a promotional tour for his new film The Gunman.

“I have absolutely no apologies. In fact, I have a big … you for anybody who is so stupid not to have gotten the irony when you’ve got a country that is so xenophobic.

“If they had their way, you wouldn’t have great film-makers like Alejandro working in this country. Thank god we do.”

The actor went on to explain that his comment had been intentional.

“There’s a little inside humor with he and I where I know, and wanted to know, that he would be the first person in that room to know that his film won,” Sean Penn said.

Speaking backstage after this year’s Oscar ceremony, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu said he and Sean Penn have “that kind of brutal relationship where only true friendship can survive”.

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