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Sean Penn Makes A Bad Joke

Actor Sean Penn set off a flurry of angry tweets at last night’s Oscar’s ceremony when he made a joke about Alejandro González Iñárritu’s immigration status. His film Birdman won best picture and as Sean Penn went to open the envelope to announce the winner he said, “Who gave this guy a green card?”. Iñárritu later said that he was not angry and that he thought it was funny. Maybe they are just good friends and it was a good-natured joke. But there is a time and a place for that kind of thing. But it is interesting that no one makes immigration jokes about, say, Eddie Redmayne who is English. He could very well be in the United States without papers. No, the only reason Sean Penn said it about Iñárritu was because he is Mexican and the only people who can be undocumented are Mexicans and other Latinos, right? The Internet went insane with many people taking to social media to express their anger. The hashtag #penndejo was created to share people’s thoughts on the issue. It is interesting that it was Sean Penn as well. After all he is Mr. serious social activist. For him to make light of the immigration problem seems out of character. Unless, of course, it was all an act all along. Iñárritu spoke eloquently in his speech about the need for reform of the immigration laws in the U.S. just moments later when he said,

“I just pray they can be treated with the same dignity and respect of the ones that came before and built this incredible, immigrant nation.”

I hope Sean Penn listened.

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