Steve Martin Offers Apology, Explanation for 'Unfortunate' Tweet
Steve Martin has offered and apology and an explanation for what he has termed an 'unfortunate' tweet that he posted last Friday, December 20th.
The legendary comedian used his official Facebook page yesterday to clear up a misunderstanding over a tweet which was meant to be nothing more than a humorous observation on linguistics. The comment not only received widespread media coverage, but was quoted inaccurately by various news outlets.
His explanation follows:
"I am very upset that a tweet I sent out last week has been interpreted by some to be insulting to African Americans. By now media coverage of the unfortunate tweet has only added to this perception. To those who were offended, again, I offer a deep, sincere, and humble apology without reservation.
But I feel I need to tell you the context and origin of the joke.
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.
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.