Sean Penn oscars
Sean Penn doesn't regret his green card joke during the 2015 Oscars on Feb. 22. Reuters

Sean Penn said he has no regrets about the green card joke he made in presenting the Oscar for best picture to Mexican director Alejandro González Iñárritu. While some interpreted the joke as racist or demeaning, Penn said he has “absolutely no apologies” during a press event for his new film, “The Gunman,” the Associated Press reported.

When Penn, 54, announced the winner for best picture, he claimed he wanted “Birdman” director Iñárritu, 51, to know he had won before anyone else. “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,” Penn said.

That led him to say “Who gave this son of a bitch his green card?” before announcing Iñárritu’s film “Birdman” as the best picture winner. After the ceremony, Iñárritu clarified that he is close friends with Penn and wasn’t offended by the comment. “I didn’t find it offensive; I thought it was very funny,” the director said. Iñárritu and Penn both found it funny, but many online critics said they were offended, despite Iñárritu’s defense. Tweets like this flooded the Internet during and after the ceremony:

Not only does Penn not regret his joke, but he also doesn’t understand how people could have misinterpreted it. “In fact, I have a big f--- you for every -- anybody who is so stupid not to have gotten the irony when you’ve got a country that is so xenophobic," Penn said. "If they had their way, you wouldn’t have great filmmakers like Alejandro working in this country. Thank God we do.”