by Free Britney at

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?"

Steve Martin Image

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."

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by Free Britney at

Steve Martin is under fire for tweeting a racist joke and offending many of his fans on Twitter, though he did delete it himself and apologize immediately.

The actor/comedian was having some fun on Twitter, answering questions about grammar rules, in what is one of his usual hilarious social media routines.

Then, things took a bad turn.

Steve Martin Pic

When one of the 68-year-old's followers when one asked him "Is this how you spell lasonia?" Martin then replied with this racially charged joke:

"It depends. Are you in an African-American neighborhood or at an Italian restaurant?"

As mentioned, Martin quickly took the tweet down, and apologized immediately.

Still, he received criticism from fans, and posted this: "I did apologize. But again, a second later I realized what an offensive thing I'd done. Deep bow."

The 68-year-old star resumed Tweeting a day later without mentioning the mishap.

So first the Justine Sacco debacle and now this. Remember when Twitter was just for sending non-stop updates about bathroom breaks or live-Tweeting Scandal?

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