By Ariana Bacle
March 09, 2015 at 04:48 PM EDT
C Flanigan/Getty Images

Sean Penn asked, “Who gave this son of a bitch his green card?” before announcing Mexican director Alejandro González Iñárritu had won Best Picture for Birdman at this year’s Oscars. Twitter was not happy about the joke—but Penn doesn’t care.

“I’m always surprised by flagrant stupidity. I keep having more hope,” he told the Associated Press this weekend. “I have absolutely no apologies. In fact, I have a big f–k you for every…anybody who is so stupid not to have gotten the irony when you’ve got a country that is so xenophobic.” He went on to praise Iñárritu, who he worked with on 2003’s 21 Grams. “If they had their way, you wouldn’t have great filmmakers like Alejandro working this country,” he said. “Thank God we do.”

While some were offended, the subject of the joke maintains he thought it was funny. “I found it hilarious,” Iñárritu said backstage after the show. “Sean and I had that kind of brutal [relationship] where only true friendship can survive. When I was directing him in 21 Grams, he was always making jokes … I make on him a lot of very tough jokes that I will not tell you.”

Iñárritu is currently working on The Revenantdue later this year, and Penn stars in The Gunmanout March 20.