“The Gunman” actor, Sean Penn opened up about the green card joke/comment heard around the world on Saturday in Beverly Hills during a promotional tour for his new film, saying that he has a resolute “absolutely no apologies” for his comment. The multi-talented actor-director also has some choice words for those who didn’t recognize the irony in his remarks.
Penn, tasked with presenting the best picture award on Feb. 22 during the 87th Academy Awards, made big waves when he opened the envelope and asked first “Who gave this son of a bitch his green card?” before announcing the winner as “Birdman.”
The term “green card” refers to a document that confers permanent residency on immigrants in the United States. Many wondered whether the joke was distasteful as it was directed by the Mexican-born Alejandro Iñárritu.
Iñárritu said after the ceremony, “I found it hilarious. Sean and I have that kind of brutal (relationship) where only true friendship can survive.”
The two remain close to this date when in 2003 Iñárritu directed Penn in the film “21 Grams”.
Iñárritu added, “I make him a lot of very tough jokes that I will not tell you.”
Penn has remained largely silent on the topic. While Iñárritu’s casual disregard of any perceived offense helped to temper down the public negative response to the comment,
Penn said of the extensive outrage that followed his comment, “I’m always surprised by flagrant stupidity. I keep having more hope.”
He added, “The fact is that I understand it. I see it all the time. When somebody sees the opportunity to frame something in the comfort that it will be common that they can do that and they can get a group to look at them and that they will take on those positions and never really think about what it was”.
With calm resolve, Penn stated, “I have absolutely no apologies.”
“In fact, I have a big (expletive) for you, for every…anybody who is so stupid not to have gotten the irony. When you’ve got a country that is so xenophobic,” he said. “If they had their way, you wouldn’t have a great filmmakers like Alejandro working in this country. Thank God we do.”
“There’s a little inside humor with he (Iñárritu) and I where I know, and wanted to know, and that he would be the first person in that room to know that his film won,” Penn clarified that the order of his comments were intentional.