By NBC News
February 23, 2015

Sean Penn sparked controversy Sunday by making what some alleged was a “racist” joke at the expense of the Mexican director of “Birdman,” the film which won four Academy Awards.

The two-time Oscar-winning actor asked the audience: “Who gave this son of a b***h a green card?” before revealing “Birdman” had triumphed as best picture. The movie was directed by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, who was also honored in that category.

Inarritu and Penn are friends, having worked together on “21 Grams.” Inarritu later told reporters backstage that he found the joke “hilarious…”

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Read next: Watch the Cast and Crew of Birdman Celebrate Their Best Picture Win at the Oscars

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