Two days ago, as Twitchy reported, comedian Steve Martin tweeted (then deleted) this joke:
This morning, a Twitter user said she was sorry to see Martin’s racially-tinged tweet:
While acknowledging that his tweet was highly inappropriate, Martin also said that “there is a misquoted version around with the implications you write about.”
In other words, if this woman thinks Martin implied that black people can’t spell, she must be reading a misquoted version of his tweet.
This, of course, is absurd. The “implications” the woman wrote about were perfectly reasonable given what Martin tweeted. [Editor’s note: But see our update below.]
As for Martin’s claim about a “misquoted version” of his tweet making the rounds, well, we’ll believe it when we see it.
The misquoted version is on TMZ.
— Steve Martin (@SteveMartinToGo) December 22, 2013
Here’s TMZ’s misquote:
Steve Martin learned an important lesson about lasagna last night … the dish can get racial.
The SNL alum was cracking grammar jokes on Twitter .. when someone asked, “is this how you spell lasonia?”
Steve’s response … “It depends. Are you in an African-American restaurant or at an Italian restaurant.”
So TMZ said “restaurant” when it should have said “neighborhood.” We’ll leave it to readers to decide whether this is a material difference.
The original version of this post stated that Martin’s tweet denigrated the spelling ability of people who live in African American neighborhoods. A more likely explanation is that he was referencing the tendency of some African Americans to use names that include the prefix “La.” If we misinterpreted his joke (and we think we probably did), we apologize.