February 23, 2015 by David K. Sutton
Sean Penn’s ‘Green Card’ Oscars Joke: What’s Wrong With Liberals?
I’m not using Sean Penn as a proxy when I ask what’s wrong with liberals. No, I’m asking what’s wrong with liberals who missed the larger point in Penn’s “joke” by instead focusing only on the surface of a political correctness issue.
Of course, this time around, I can’t say I know this latest “political correctness” critique is limited only to liberals.
In case you missed it, “Sean Penn’s ‘Green Card’ Comment May Have Ruined The Entire Oscars,” as The Huffington Post reports in typical click-bait fashion. — Just before announcing Alejandro González Iñárritu’s “Birdman” as the Academy winner for Best Picture, Penn joked, “Who gave this son of a bitch his green card?” As it turns out, Penn and Iñárritu are old friends, which I assumed after a microsecond of shock. And on cue, the fake outrage machine known as the Twitterverse began ripping Penn a new one.
“Sean Penn talking about a Mexican dude to a room full of British & Australian people…,” tweeted Mario Lopez. “And great job Sean Penn. Ruining a fantastic moment with a green card ‘joke.’”
Too bad he and many others missed the greater point, buried under an avalanche of misdirected anger. Isn’t the real issue here that nobody questions the immigration status of “British” and “Australian” people, but a sizable part of this country has no problem being quite racist when it comes to Mexicans and Latinos? Wasn’t that the point of the “joke”?
Penn is known for being quite liberal, but no, that doesn’t mean we let him off the hook if he truly did make an insensitive comment. But as I said, it seemed clear to me that it was satire directed at a broken system and at the “expense” of someone he probably has worked with before. Iñárritu defended Penn, saying he thought the joke was “hilarious.” Adding, “Sean and I have that kind of brutal relationship where only true friendship can survive.”
Now, maybe I’m giving a pass to Penn I would never give to a conservative actor, but it seems less likely a conservative actor would utilize satire to shine a light on immigrant discrimination. And maybe I’m entirely wrong, and Penn was just making an insensitive “in” joke about a friend, with no larger political point, but I really doubt it.
This situation could only be made worse if Penn capitulates by apologizing. It’s a social media frenzy that will live a short life and die, as all Twitterverse “fake outrage” moments are destined.