Tim Allen Defends Paula Deen’s Use Of N-Word, Says ‘We’re Running Backwards'
Tim Allen addressed Paula Deen’s admission of using the N-word in the past and her subsequent fallout with her partners during a recent interview that was to focus on his standup career.
Allen provided the segue into a discussion about the racial slur when he was asked about how comedy has shifted recently, as far as what’s appropriate to say and what isn’t during an interview with the Tampa Bay Times. “I’m just watching Paula Deen,” he said before launching into his views on the matter.
“I’ve had this argument on stage a million times,” Allen said. “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 7 feet away, if I said n—–, it’s not right. It’s very confusing to the European mind how that works. […]So when Paula Deen (admits her language), they go after her, and now we’ve gone backwards in the world.”
Allen did not stop there, however, and went on to provide the definition of the N-word from Webster’s old dictionary, which the comedian states defines it as an “unemployed and indigent dock worker.” He said, under that definition, it would fit his currently unemployed brother. He also argues that labeling a word as taboo gives it the power of being insulting, and that by normalizing the slur would take the power out of it.
"[The phrase] 'The n-word' is worse to me than n—–," said Allen. “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.”
The next stop on Allen’s comedy tour is The Venetian in Las Vegas Sept. 2-7. Last Man Standing, the sitcom he stars in opposite Nancy Travis, will premiere its third season on Sept. 20 on ABC.
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