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This year’s Academy Awards were memorable at best, as many stars used the platform to talk about civil rights, ALS, and equal rights for women, but one moment between old friends Sean Penn and director Alejandro González Iñárritu almost ruined the show.

During Sunday’s telecast, Penn presented the Birdman filmmaker with the Best Picture Award. Before giving out the award to the Mexican director, Penn joked about his immigration status by saying, “Who gave this son of bi** his green card?” There weren’t many laughs for the joke and social media erupted into a firestorm, as they blasted the actor for souring Iñárritu ‘s special moment.

Even though the two are longtime friends — Penn starred in Iñárritu’s 2003 release 21 Grams — many didn’t seem to care, since immigration involving Latinos and Hispanics has become a conversation fraught with stereotypes.

During his acceptance speech, Iñárritu shook off the joke with a comment of his own. He dedicated his win to his country and Mexican-Americans who have faced immigration issues, and demanded that Mexican-Americans should be honored and respected just as much as any other American.

“Maybe next year, the government will inflict some immigration rules (on) the academy. Two Mexicans in a row, that’s suspicious, I guess,” he said. “I want to dedicate this award for my fellow Mexicans, the ones who live in Mexico,” Iñarritu said. “I pray that we can find and build the government that we deserve. And the ones that live in this country who are part of the latest generation of immigrants in this country, I just pray that they can be treated with the same dignity and the respect of the ones who came before and (built) this incredible immigrant nation.”

He also addressed Penn’s joke after the big win, stating that he has made far more brutal digs towards the actor.

“I found it hilarious,” Iñarritu said after the ceremony. “Sean and I have that kind of brutal (relationship) where only true friendship can survive. “I make [jokes about] him a lot… very tough jokes that I will not tell you.”

Iñarritu’s film took home four awards last night, including Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, Best Cinematography, and Best Director.

SOURCE: Huffington Post  | VIDEO CREDIT: News Inc. 

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