Steve Martin Explains Confusion Behind ‘Racist’ Tweet

Posted on December 26th, 2013 at 6:30 am

steveSocial media can be a very dangerous thing, especially if you're a celebrity.

Steve Martin recently came under fire when a follower asked him, "Is this how you spell lasonia?" And Martin replied, "It depends. Are you in an African-American neighborhood or at an Italian restaurant?" 

The actor's tweet didn't well with some fans, so he deleted his reply, and quickly apologized for what he said.

But now Steve is further explaining himself. "I was riffing on Twitter, inviting people to ask me grammar questions. I replied with what I hoped were funny answers. For example, a person might write 'What's the difference between then and than?' I would say, 'then is a conjunctive preposition, and than is a misspelling of thank'. I have done similar things to this on other occasions, and there is a great spirit of fun between me and the Twitters followers," Martin says, adding, "I was going along fine when someone wrote, 'How do you spell lasonia?' I wrote: 'It depends if you are in an African American neighborhood or an Italian restaurant.' I knew of the name Lasonia. I did not make it up, nor do I find it funny."

"So to me the answer was either Lasonia (with a capital), or Lasagna, depending on what you meant. That they sounded alike in this rare and particular context struck me as funny. That was the joke. When the tweet went out, I saw some negative comments and immediately deleted the tweet and apologized. I gathered the perception was that I was making fun of African American names...Later, thinking it over, I realized the tweet was irresponsible, and made a fuller apology on Twitter." 

It's always refreshing to see a public figure genuinely apologize!

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