Steve Martin Apologizes for Race-Based Tweet

Steve Martin routinely fires off one-liners via Twitter, but this weekend he used the site's 140-character allotment to apologize for a borderline racist barb.

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 neighborhood or at an Italian restaurant."

Seconds later the 68-year old actor deleted  the tweet and apologized.  But the floodgates opened, the original tweet went viral and Martin atoned again:  "I did apologize.  But again, a second later I realized what an offensive thing I'd done ... In retrospect, bad joke.

Martin later tried to minimize the damage by saying TMZ misquoted his material. The site did swap out the word "neighborhood" for "restaurant," but the joke's uncomfortable edge remained untouched.


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