Social media has led to a social gaffe for Steve Martin, but he's taking full responsibility for his racist tweet and explaining in detail how it came about.
The actor, writer and former Oscar host, 68, was quipping with fans on Twitter when he apparently went too far when the topic turned to grammar.
Asked by a fan, "Is this how you spell lasonia?" Martin said: "It depends. Are you in an African-American neighborhood or at an Italian restaurant?"
Quickly realizing the line might offend, Martin deleted the tweet and apologized. In the face of criticism that ensued, he offered a longer explanation.
"I was riffing on Twitter, inviting people to ask me grammar questions," the funnyman wrote. "I replied with what I hoped were funny answers."