Tim Allen, of all people, is weighing in on the Paula Deen scandal, and raising eyebrows himself with some controversial comments about racism.
In an interview with the Tampa Bay Times, Allen said he believes "politically correct" phrases to be more egregious than the actual slur at times.
"[The phrase] 'the N-word' is worse to me than n--ger," he said.
Allen, 60, said the toned-down phrase's very existence runs counter to how he thinks people should tackle such an emotionally charged topic.
"You want to take the power away from that word so that no one is offended by it," the comedian said of the racial slur that Deen admitted using.
"If I have no intent, if I show no intent, if I clearly am not a racist," he continued, "then how can 'n--ger' be bad coming out of my mouth?"
"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----r's up.'"
"So I'm the n---er if I'm around you guys but seven feet away, if I said n---er, it's not right. It's very confusing to the European mind how that works."
Somewhere, Rae Dawn Chong is just happy the heat is off her now.
Allen kept at it when it comes to his views on the topic, recounting:
"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."
"Now we've gone backwards in the world."
It's an ongoing debate that, Allen believes, sends conflicting messages.
"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. We're running backwards."
In a statement to E! News, Allen addressed the obligatory, subsequent furor surrounding his interview, but did not apologize, saying simply:
"If I offended anyone it wasn't my intention."
Since Deen admitted using the term in a legal deposition, the celebrity chef has been fired by Food Network and seen her once-dominant empire battered.
She's maintained a significant bastion of support however, as many people argue that she's being unfairly singled out or exploited by an opportunist.
As for Tim Allen's comments on the subject, tell us what you think in the comments below: Is he out of line? Or right on the nose, even if it's taboo?