Tim Allen wants to say the N-word, and he'd like us all to hold up for a minute and explain why exactly that's not okay. Touching on the recent Paula Deen scandal, the 60-year-old Home Improvement star is kicking up an entirely new, never-heard-before-from-anyone fuss over the "confusing" rules about who can and cannot use the N-word without reproach.
"I've had this argument on stage a million times," Allen told the Tampa Bay Times. "I do a movie with Martin Lawrence and pretty soon they're referring to me, 'Hey, my [N-word]'s up.' So I'm the [N-word] around you guys but seven feet away, if I said [N-word] it's not right."
As Tim Allen explains it, the N-word double standard is confusing for those of the Caucasion persuasion. "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."
In defense of Paula Deen, Tim Allen argued the N-word debate has moved the country in the wrong direction regarding race matters. "So when Paula Deen [admits her language] they go after her," he said, referring to the disgraced former Food Network's stars acknowledgment in a deposition that she had used the N-word along with various other racially insensitive remarks.
"Now we've gone backwards in the world," Allen said.
Tim Allen's N-word commentary seems to have been sparked not only by a desire to defend Paula Deen, but out of a concern that censorship of the world makes it difficult for comedians to weigh in on pertinent events where the N-word is central to the discussion.
"So this debate rages in the public," Allen said, "but when it goes out into 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."
Though Tim Allen's N-word argument is far from groundbreaking, arguments over the N-word in the comedy world are longstanding. In a group appearance on Talking Funny, comedians Chris Rock, Jerry Seinfeld, Louis C.K., and Ricky Gervais famously discussed their different opinions on using the word onstage. Watch the clip below.