Steve Martin apologises for racist Twitter joke

The comedian attempted to crack a joke in response to one follower’s questions, but ended up coming off a bit racist in the process

Steve Martin successfully managed to marginalise himself – and African Americans at the same time – in one fell Twitter-shaped swoop yesterday.

The comedian attempted to crack a joke in response to one follower’s question, but ended up coming off a bit racist in the process.

He was asked by a fan: “Is this how you spell lasonia?”

He replied: “It depends. Are you in an African-American neighborhood or at an Italian restaurant?”

Immediately realising how offensive his comment was, the 68-year-old actor quickly deleted it. But not, however, before several people had already cottoned on.

“In retrospect, bad joke...Sorry about that,” he posted by way of apology, later adding: “My tweet was highly inappropriate.”

Since then, Martin has written a longer, more thought-out apology via his official website.

"I am very upset that a tweet I sent out last week has been interpreted by some to be insulting to African Americans," he wrote. "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."

Read it in full - together with Martin's explanation of the context of the joke - here.

The incident, which occurred last week, comes just days after Martin took to the social networking site to discount rumours (which, incidentally, he started) that he is dating newly single reality TV star Khloe Kardashian.

”Despite rumors, Khloé Kardashian and I are 'just friends,'“ he quipped.

“Be sure to check out my new album, ‘Just Friends with Khloe Kardashian’[sic].”

Check out the Top 10 biggest Twitter blunders of the year below.

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