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."
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.
The top 10 Twitter gaffes of 2013
The top 10 Twitter gaffes of 2013
1/10 In at number 10: After an interview with the MP Rachel Reeves, Newsnight producer Ian Katz thought she was ‘snoring boring’. Unfortunately, he published this opinion to the world on Twitter
2/10 David Cameron was embarrassed by revelations that his official Twitter account followed news from a high class escorts agency – he quickly stressed that he did not manage the list of accounts personally
3/10 The Tory MP Gavin Barwell objected to an internet advert to ‘date Arab girls’ that he thought was included in a Labour press release. It was actually popping up via Google based on his own ‘interests’
4/10 Burger King’s official Twitter account was hacked earlier this year, and a series of embarrassing posts followed (such as this one). The issue was not fixed for several hours
5/10 It emerged this year that Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister, followed the account of a 'library for hot sex books in the Persian language'
6/10 The designer Kenneth Cole, not a stranger to controversy, decided to cash in on the Syrian crisis by making a joke about getting troops into the country. He tweeted: “Boots on the ground' or not, let's not forget about sandals, pumps and loafers. #Footwear”
7/10 Cereal brand Kelloggs was forced to apologise this year after it seemed to want to turn a crisis of vulnerable children into an opportunity to increase its social media reach
8/10 Cricket Australia was accused of ‘casual racism’ after tweeting this photograph of four Sikh men dressed as Teletubbies with the message: “Will the real Monty Panesar please stand up?!”
9/10 The 9-year-old “Beasts of the Southern Wild” actress Quvenzhané Wallis was universally adored at the Oscars at the start of this year – prompting the satirical news website The Onion to tweet that she was ‘kind of a c***’. It later apologised and promised to review its social media policy
10/10 The most shocking Twitter gaffe of the year was surely this series of tweets from the recipe and cooking advice website Epicurious. It tried to use the Boston Bombing as a marketing hook to get people to read about cranberry scones – and later apologised only for ‘seeming’ offensive.