As Paula Deen continues to catch heat for her numerous alleged racist remarks, comedian Tim Allen has offered up his own views regarding the use of the N-word.
The 60-year-old Home Improvement star was interviewed by Tampa Bay Times critic Eric Deggans on the day "controversy ignited over Paula Deen's admitted use of that slur in 1986." Defending use of the word, Allen told the newspaper, "(The phrase) 'the n-word' is worse to me than n*****."
Allen said of Deen's predicament, "I've had this argument on stage a million times. I do a movie with Martin Lawrence and pretty soon they’re referring to me, 'Hey, my n*****'s up.' So I'm the n***** if I'm around you guys but seven feet away, if I said n*****, it's not right. It's very confusing to the European mind how that works, especially if I've either grown up or evolved or whatever, it literally was growing up in Colorado, with Hispanics and Anglos, that's all I remember. So when Paula Deen (admits her language), they go after her, and now we've gone backwards in the world. She said n***** in '83 or something?"
He added, "You want to take the power away from that word so that no one is offended by it." Deggans writes that this comment leads to Allen telling a "50-year-old joke by [Lenny] Bruce about how President [John F.] Kennedy could defuse slurs by using them to describe Jewish, Italian and black people in his cabinet."
"If I have no intent, if I show no intent, if I clearly am not a racist, then how can 'n*****' be bad coming out of my mouth?"
Allen didn't stop there, "In Webster's old dictionary the word 'n*****' means unemployed and indigent dock worker. That's one definition. So I said, (to my brother) in that case ...he lives in Boston and he's not employed ...so you'd be a n*****. And he goes, yeah. If my brother told me not to call him a dingleberry in front of my mother, ‘cause I knew it pissed him… pisses me off. As soon as Mom left, and I wanted to piss him off? I'd say 'dingleberry, dingleberry, dingleberry.' So if you're around a word to be problematic for you and low intellect or uninvolved people find that out, they’re gonna call you n***** all day long 'cause they know you don’t like it. And I said, so this debate rages in the public, but when it gets to the comedy world, we're not even allowed to say it, and I gotta refer to it as the N-word, F-word, B-word ...it gets all the way down the line. It gets really intense; we're running backwards."
Following the Last Man Standing's controversial comments Deggans writes that Allen "comes close to sounding like a well-meaning white guy who may not understand how tenuous the ground he's walking on could become."
Allen tells ET following the release of this TBT story that he was not defending Deen, and "if I offended anyone, it was not my intention."