Steve Martin tweets-and-deletes a racist ‘joke’: do you accept his apology?


On Friday, in between work and a trip to the gym and dinner out, I was following the saga of #HasJustineLandedYet. Apparently, a publicist (or a PR firm employee) named Justine Sacco had tweeted something incredibly offensive and then boarded a plane to South Africa. The Twitter-verse was waiting for her plane to land so that she could respond to the now world-wide story of her offensive tweet. That tweet? “Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get AIDS. Just kidding. I’m white!” Ugh. Sacco’s tweet was one of the most discussed news items of Friday, mostly because she couldn’t delete it (because she was on the plane) or issue any kind of statement about it immediately. So, long story short, when she got off the plane, she deleted her Twitter, issued a statement and an apology and she was fired from her job. Merry Christmas!

That same day, Steve Martin also had his very own racist-tweet controversy, but he was not on a plane for half the day, so he got to delete the tweet quickly and apologize for it within one news cycle. That tweet? A Twitter follower asked: “Is this how you spell lasonia?” Steve replied: “It depends. Are you in an African-American neighborhood or at an Italian restaurant?” His Twitter followers were like, “Ugh. Racist.” And he deleted it and apologized – you can see his Twitter feed here, he’s interacting with followers and he seems sorry that he made the original tweet.

So… is Steve forgiven? Is Steve’s Twitter problem better or worse than Justine Sacco’s? And by “better” I mean… less offensive? Both were offensive, no doubt. But I think Justine’s tweet got wider play because she left that sh-t up for like 16 hours. And because it’s just awful.



Photos courtesy of WENN.

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166 Responses to “Steve Martin tweets-and-deletes a racist ‘joke’: do you accept his apology?”

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  1. annaloo. says:

    That sucks. I’m disappointed in him.

    As a rule, racial or ethnic jokes on twitter are the STUPIDEST thing you can do nowadays! IT’s bad enough that people tell them, but why do people feel compelled to tweet them is beyond me!

  2. Naye in VA says:

    Ughhh. And I freaking love Steve Martin, and I tend to be forgiving about obvious jokes based on racial stereotypes, like how Blacks love fried chicken or whatnot, but this joke was over-reaching and unfunny. Blacks being illiterate or dumb as a stereotype is probably as unfunny as you can get. I hate those jokes. Sorry Steve. -1

    • Harper says:

      I didn’t think the joke was about black people being illiterate or dumb – I thought the joke was supposed to be that “LaSonia” sounds like a stereotypical “black name.” Also stupid and offensive, but I think less so than the implication that black people are illiterate.

      • LahdidahBaby says:

        Yes, it seems obvious that he meant Lasonia sounded like a typical black name. Less offensive than the way people seem to be taking what he said, but still a stereotype and still a bit offensive. Just consideably less so than the illiteracy interp.

      • Harryg says:

        Yes, that’s what I also thought.

      • Jenna says:

        At the risk of sounding like a total moron, I am actually kind of glad someone explained it was a name based ‘joke’. I seem to have had a total space and even though I’ve read a half dozen articles this morning about Steve Martin being an ass, the idea it was supposed to be making fun of naming stereotypes had not clicked. Mostly because when I think of moronic naming choices, my brain defaults directly to one specific white girl – a nursing student friend of mine came to class one day back in college in floods of tears, nearly unable to breathe, and we all thought the worst at first (she had been doing a rotation in the delivery section of the hospital – nurse sobbing, you kinda assume gruesome and horrific possibilities) until we could get her calmed down enough for us to realize she was LAUGHING so hard she had practically wet herself. She had a young white mom who, after seeing a ‘neat’ word on her chart, when her baby was born and before anyone could stop her or explain, enthusiastically named her daughter the amazingly PERFECT name of….

        Chlamydia. With the idea of of giving her the nickname of Dia, and no clue about what she had just signed onto the certificate (thank god she misspelled it!). In the same vein, before I renamed my oldest cat Pandora, she had been temporarily named…. something else by the young very white couple who had tried to adopt her (they brought she and her sister home, the sister whomped on Pandora and they decided to keep her and give me Pandora). Her sister was named Tigra, and so I think they must have been meaning to name her something like Leoparda or Liona or something…. but somehow slipped up and thought that the name ~Labia~ was the same thing. I honestly had no idea there was a stereotype about black naming traditions. I mean… GOOP named her poor daughter Apple, how out there can any other demographic go with names?

    • janie says:

      As far as I’m concerned…. Steve didn’t say anything racist & owes no one a apology. We all pronounce things differently depending on what part of the country your from. The gal was born in South Africa , this wasn’t a oops! Her dad went crazy!

    • booboochile says:

      I snorted tea through my nose. It was hilarious and I’m black. Racist, nah, alittle insensitive and/or inappropriate yes.

    • LolaLulu says:

      Jenna – your story just made my day :)

  3. Alexis says:

    Steve, you KNOW better. SMH.

  4. Zbornak Syndrome says:

    White people have gone crazy! :) Ah yes, social media. Revealing thy true self one post at a time. I cut him slack, he is a comedian. And frankly if I were at a comedy club I wouldn’t hold this joke against him.

  5. OriginallyBlue says:

    Really Steve! ?

    Ugh. Im glad that we are seeing how people really feel eith Twitter, but damn. Smh.

  6. Cecilia says:

    I didn’t find his little quip offensive. I don’t even understand why he apologised.

  7. NewWester says:

    What is it about Twitter that makes people so stupid?

  8. bowers says:

    He apologized because he said that black people can’t spell and/or use funny names. He’s an idiot, and Clooney was correct, famous people shouldn’t have Twitter.

  9. Jayna says:

    I think he was trying to joke it being a name, Lasonia, is what many posters on HuffingtonPost were saying when discussing it, the joke being in the African-American community many come up with unique names for their children. Meaning if you’re asking how to spell it for an Italian restaurant, it’s a food, lasagna, but if you’re asking for the African-American community how to spell it, it’s spelled Lasonia because it’s a name. One of the African-American posters came on and said it is a name he has seen in the African American community and it is spelled like Steve said but with a capital S, LaSonia.

    He apologized quickly and didn’t whine like Alec Baldwin. He’s a comic . I think he tweeted quickly before he thought, deleted it quickly, and apologized quickly with no whining afterwards or defending.

    • queenfreddiemercury says:

      It’s a really dumb joke since white people give their kids stupid names too. With unique spelling. But I agree with the last part he apologized quickly but I was still disappointed with him.

      • wonderwoman21 says:

        Seriously. My (white) co worker named her daughter Paetyn; ridiculous spelling. I also know of little boys named Cash and Colt, both white.

        And lets no forget Pilot Inspektor, Bronx Mowgli and Bear Blu, so lets stop laying the burden of “dumb” names solely as a “black people thing”.

      • lisa2 says:

        yeah because Bear, Apple, Audio Science, Sugar Plum, Ocean, Moxie Crime Fighter and Tu Morrow..
        and the list goes on.. these names are fine because the spelling is “basic”.

        The Black community is not unique in strange names. Maybe the spelling, but does that really make it that different from that list above.

  10. tifzlan says:

    There is no better or worse. Both are equally poorly thought out and offensive.

  11. Kiddo says:

    He genuinely apologized. GENUINELY… and he is a comedian, not a statesman.

  12. lucy2 says:

    I’m amazed that someone in PR wasn’t smart enough to realize that was a horrible, horrible idea.
    I’m a little disappointed Steve Martin wrote that, but I’ll give him some credit for recognizing it was wrong and apologizing.

  13. Suze says:

    Racism, xenophia plus AIDs jokes are worse than garden variety racism.

    But UGH to it all – it’s all horrid. And I am disappointed in Martin.

  14. Tapioca says:

    Hers was racist and utterly stupid – AIDS and Black Africans in one go, yeah!

    His was more ill-advised than nasty. Half the comments I’ve read on message boards are like, “Huh? I don’t get it”. If a black comedian had made the same joke no-one would have cared, but at least SM deleted and apologised.

    OTOH the woman’s tweet would have been offensive from literally anyone.

    • osito says:

      Though I agree with the rest of your comment, I have to disagree with the “if he was a black comedian, no one would have cared” part. I am a black American woman, with a very common name that has a minor (yet also fairly common, across racial lines) spelling, and I *hate* these kinds of jokes. That statement annoys me coming from anyone because it is wrong — Americans across racial and ethnic groups have a long history of changing the spellings of common names in various languages to increase uniqueness and individuality — and it is racist. It highlights a perceived social and/or intellectual ignorance on the part of the namer, and casts some black people as “good” (typical read: assimilated) and others as “not good” (typical read: “ghetto” or uncultured/unsophisticated). When white comedians make jokes like these, I find it insensitive and offensive. When black comedians do it, it feels like cultural cannibalization. There was a great Salon article about AAVE, perception, and naming. I can’t seem to find it right now, but if I can, I will post.

    • I agree black comedians would get a pass on the names issue. In fact, they already have. Key & Peele’s East West College Bowl on youtube is the perfect example.

      • Osito says:

        Hm…I think I was unclear. I wasn’t trying to argue that a black comedian wouldn’t get a pass from society at large because clearly they do, all the time. I was taking issue with the “no one would have cared” part because I am a someone and I care, and I’m not the only person who cares. If we, as individuals, start speaking up about the fact that we care and *why* we care, we might be able to open some minds. I think it’s a bit of a red herring, anyway… I was just trying to be clear that I am a person who is really tired of people stepping all over each other to invent their own superiority.

        But I’m also really glad Steve Martin apologized and seemed sincere about it.

      • Danskins says:

        To add to your point, Key & Peele also made the Substitute Teacher which is also very popular on YouTube & about Black names. Again, no one seemed up in arms about that one but at least their skits are funnier.

        But Steve is an original – way before Key & Peele were even a thought in people’s minds – so he’s a comedian’s comedian. What he said was disappointing but I’m glad he apologized for it.

  15. keep says:

    Clooney was right, any celebrity on twitter is stupid.

  16. shelley says:

    People are just exposing themselves and their prejudices om Twitter. Noone wants your apology. What good does it do? It just exposes you further as a fraud.

  17. vvvoid says:

    Sacco’s comment sorta reads as ironic or with the subtext of “obviously this is a joke and me pretending to be an extremely ignorant racist”- almost poking fun at idiots who truly think things like that. Reminds me of a lot of very popular comedians who do the same thing, especially on cc roasts. She just didn’t get the benefit of a camerman panning to a black audience member laughing as a sign of approval. Nor did steve martin. What phil robertson said was actually racist. These tweets were just dumb jokes.

    • Kim1 says:

      Does that also apply to her tweet about wanting to have sex with an autistic kid?

    • Bex says:

      She was in PR. Her employer has every right to fire a rep who can’t represent the ethics of their brand or understand that social media can do to represent you. In a way she probably was the perfect case of being fired for incompetence.

      Martins “joke” was bad, I’m disappointed in him but he did apologize. He’s his own brand so he can’t fire himself but I think he wrote himself up, lol.

    • Jayna says:

      I never read irony in her joke in the least. I read it as offensive and vulgar making fun of a disease killing women, men, and children over there, and then racist in that she’s white so she’s safe form it. And tweeting this garbage on a business trip going there no less. What a professional.

  18. yani says:

    Can someone please explain racism to me? Am I not allowed to acknowledge races or should I do what? I’m a tourist and very confused as to whay rascism means.

    • Naye in VA says:

      So is everybody else.

      The term racist is widely overused. So let’s do a quick lesson:

      a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one’s own race is superior and has the right to rule others.
      a policy, system of government, etc., based upon or fostering such a doctrine; discrimination.
      hatred or intolerance of another race or other races.

      an unfavorable opinion or feeling formed beforehand or without knowledge, thought, or reason.
      any preconceived opinion or feeling, either favorable or unfavorable.
      unreasonable feelings, opinions, or attitudes, especially of a hostile nature, regarding a racial, religious, or national group.

      There are some people who truly are racist or bigoted in their thoughts or actions, but a lot of these “jokes” that happen are from people too dumb to realize that they are offending someone. All of us hold prejudices, usually in the form of opinions that we may or may exercise in our daily lives.Hopefully most people try not to.
      More often than not, when the media screams “racist!” it’s just stupid people expressing their own stereotypes aloud.

      to make a stereotype of.
      to characterize or regard as a stereotype: The actor has been stereotyped as a villain.
      to give a fixed form to.

      These tend to be generalized assumptions about a specific group or people. What is funny or unfunny, is typically determined by said people. Comics get a lot more wriggle room with this, as I’m choosing to give Steve Martin. I’m still offended, but I think he really thought it was funny, and I’m willing to pass on labeling him.

  19. Dimebox says:

    It is beyond stupid for anyone to tweet anything racist, sexist, homophobic, etc., all in the guise of being funny. However, even if Steve had been on a plane for hours and unable to delete or apologize, I would tend to give him a pass because we “know” him and his comment was pretty mild for a comedian. His Twitter feed did not contain other offensive tweets like Sacco’s did. He is also not a PR exec advising huge corporations. Sacco was a fool, and so casually racist that it seemed ingrained. Looking at her previous tweets, she appears to be judgmental, rude, racist, and stupid. Up until her tweet went viral she thought herself clever and cute. Not at all!

  20. OlyB says:

    What a jerk! Just because he was born a poor black child, he thinks he gets a pass on this?

  21. AlmondJoy says:

    Idiots. Why in the WORLD does Steve Martin even have a Twitter account?

  22. Jayna says:

    @NayeinVa: “Nope. I’m Black and I’ve never met or heard of a LaSonia in my life. At least not in the Black community .Reaching.”

    Naye, I googled the name, and on the professional networking site Linkedin, I saw quite a few LaSonias and a couple of Lasonias. There were photos there for only about six of the LaSonias or Lasonias, and they were all black women.

    • queenfreddiemercury says:

      So what. She said she never met LaSonia. Kate Winslet just named her kid Bear. White people are just as bad with creative spelling. Megyn & Megun and silly names for their kids.

    • AlmondJoy says:

      Wow. You actually went to Google to prove that the name exists… lol. Just to “correct” Naye’s statement. She said that she herself has never met a LaSonia. Neither have I.

      • Jayna says:

        No, I didn’t Google it in response to her post. When there was a discussion on HuffingtonPost yesterday about the joke, someone said the joke was about it being an African-American name . And another poster said it was a name in the black community, but it was spelled with a capital S, LaSonia, I thought his joke was insinuating blacks couldn’t spell lasagna before some on HP started discussing the name thing. So I googled it then. and that’s what turned up and I realized, well, maybe the joke was about that. I happened to see her post today and just said there is such a name out there. I had never heard of it either until I Googled it.

    • AlmondJoy says:

      @JAYNA I apologize, I misunderstood your intentions.

      @SUN I’m not a fan of racist jokes PERIOD. Whether they come from a white person or a black person. I just don’t find them funny at all.

  23. GeeMoney says:

    I think he gets a little leeway since he’s a comedian… with that said, he apologized and it’s not like he went off on a crazy racist rant or anything.

    It was a joke in poor taste, but at least he took responsibility for it.

  24. JessSaysNo says:

    He wasn’t saying blacks can’t spell lasagna… he was making fun of crazy names (like Sharkeisha)…

    • emmie_a says:

      I had no clue he was making fun of crazy names. I guess some jokes just don’t translate well over Twitter.

    • Sloane Wyatt says:


      Ridiculing ‘crazy’ names denoting the black community, or any other oppressed group, is racist. When you put down a group by making fun of their names, it is what it is. No way is that good clean fun, not when it has an ugly racist subtext like this.

      For instance, calling someone the slang term ‘Chad’ is a good example of an ugly stereotype of ‘overly’ clean cut young white men all being assholes. This is NOT ‘reverse racism’ because there’s no such thing when stereotyping a privileged group. It’s more like calling someone a “Betty” or a “Barney”.

      • Brigittte says:

        Sloane Wyatt quote – This is NOT ‘reverse racism’ because there’s no such thing when stereotyping a privileged group. What? Calling a white person a ‘cracker’ is not reverse racism? And I don’t agree with your definitions of oppressed and privileged. All black people are not oppressed, and all white people are not privileged. This in itself sounds like a stereotype to me.

      • Sloane Wyatt says:

        Nah, Brigittte. Black Americans still don’t have the power in proportion to their presence in the population the way White Americans do.

        You’ll see only a few Blacks, and in some cases none, in Federal and the State senates and congresses, or at the Federal and State supreme courts, or at the CEO list of major corporations, or at any other body that wields substantial power in the U.S. The few Blacks there are will mostly be representing the views of the white majority, like Clarence Thomas for instance. On the other hand, there are far more working poor, uninsured, in prisons, and unemployed black people than white people in these categories than is proportionate to their numbers in the larger society.

        This is the definition of “racism”: the interacting social, political, and economic rule systems that all discriminate, either overtly (racial profiling, for example) or covertly (i.e., white majority governments redrawing district voting lines so that black majority areas are politically split up and don’t have the electoral power to vote in black candidates; or, white-run banks using zip codes as a criteria for excluding people who apply for loans, and just “happening” to exclude all the majority black neighborhoods in a city, a practice called “red-lining”). One could go on for hours about these various mechanisms, and I’m sure you can think of plenty on your own which discriminate against blacks, Hispanics, “Arab-looking” people, Native Americans, & so on.

        It’s crucial to keep in mind that discrimination against someone you don’t like, for example calling them racial or ethnic names like ‘cracker’, is not racism, it’s discrimination. Just because both Blacks and Whites can discriminate against each other doesn’t mean that “reverse racism” is possible. The truth is that black people 1) have far less opportunity to discriminate against whites than whites have to discriminate against blacks, overall; and 2) black people lack a system of institutionalized support that protect them when they discriminate against whites.

      • Sloane Wyatt says:

        @ Brigittte,

        This is what I mean when I say ‘privilege’. – I’m not talking about wealthy or well to do people vs. poor.

      • Lauraq says:

        You’re right that it’s not ‘reverse racism’. It’s just your regular, garden variety racism.

  25. Kim1 says:

    Yeah Im sure Steve knows several Black women name Lasonia.I’m Black and have never heard of any woman named Lasonia.But I guess I don’t hang out in the same neighborhoods as Steve and his “homies”

    • Meanchick says:

      Thank you. All of this ‘names in the black community’ crap is ridiculous and offensive. Did Winslet not just name her kid Bear? How about we stop attributing names we find “different” to a certain race? Can we do that?
      I don’t think Martin is racist. He made a bad joke, apologized and I’m good with that.

  26. bns says:

    The bottom line is that he apologized. Hopefully, it was a genuine apology and not just PR damage control.

    I’m more concerned about the people that will defend his original tweet and call those who were offended by it “too sensitive.”

  27. jess says:

    People need to stop getting so worked up over stupid comments people make on twitter.

  28. JuJuJen says:

    Goodness, people, have a sense of humor!!! All jokes are funny!! Black jokes, white jokes, asian jokes, any racial joke! Religious jokes are funny, too, it’s just a way of poking harmless fun of each other and ourselves! It’s not hurting anything. They are jokes!! The only jokes I don’t like are dead baby jokes, LOL! But when you’re just joking around with one another, it shouldn’t be that big a deal. People need to learn to laugh again and have fun without having to worry about being offended/offensive. People have done this since the beginning of time and it’s not hateful it’s just humor. Steve Martin can do no wrong in my eyes. I love that man more than any other in Hollywood. And there’s not ONE person in here that can honestly say that they have never told a racial/religious/dead baby joke or laughed at a racial/religious/dead baby joke at one time in their lives and if you do say that, you are lying! Come on, my fellow Americans! Lighten up!

  29. anthrochick says:

    HE is not racist.. that was not a racist joke.. I am black I thought it was funny.. I laughed. and I know of three ladies named lasonia.. I also know one called Lashawnda so it could all very well be true.. ha ha Merry Christmas people . We have to stop this overly sensitive stuff.

  30. Bizzyb says:

    As a brown girl, I think that society has become too sensitive.

  31. Annie says:

    Comedians can get away with a lot more because they are, well, comedians. That’s the biggest disclaimer ever: “I’m a comedian. I’m supposed to provoke and make laugh and be controversial. It’s not serious.”

    While there’s things that I don’t like to hear jokes about (race, rape) I feel like 90% of the time comedians are just messing with people and they truly don’t mean. It’s just what they do and saying awful stuff sometimes it’s part of the rutine (successful or not). It’s like the type of humor at roasts. It’s not easy to listen to sometimes but that’s the point. People like Justine can’t argue that it’s just a joke because this is not her line of work, people are bound to missundertand her and she’s risking her job. Also, if she works in PR she should’ve known this is bad for her image. She’s probably like this with her friends. And they all celebrate her sense of humor, but in my experience people like her are NOT joking. That’s the difference.

    So you can hate Steve’s joke (which, really, it’s stupid but no need to lose your sht over it) but it’s his job to say bonehead things. Justine should have never brought that kind of humor on Twitter. THAT joke was cruel.

  32. sayrah says:

    Wow, I didn’t get it at first either. I thought he was suggesting African-Americans pronounce lasagna “lasonia”
    I can’t hate on him for it. It was a stupid tweet and he did seem to genuinely apologize.

  33. Maggie says:

    People are becoming overly sensitized if you ask me. i was scrolling through TV channels the other night and came upon a Dean Martin celebrity roast. It was hilarious. They couldn’t get away with any of that today and it was all in harmless fun. Lighten up!

  34. Anna says:

    The Justine landed tweets were some of the funniest tweets I’ve seen in a while.
    I find Steve’s to actually be worse, but Justine has a history of tweeting offensive things. Some website compiled her old tweets and a lot of them were really offensive and I was surprised she got away with it for so long

  35. Wordaddict says:

    He was right to apologize, but this just isn’t in the same league as joking about AIDS.

  36. renata says:

    Last time I checked we still lived in a world where you could make a mistake, apologize for it, and have it be over with. What do people want from Steve Martin, blood?

    He’s a comedian. He made a remark that he probably thought would be funny, and it turned out otherwise. He started to see the reaction to it and deleted the tweet within just minutes, making it clear he was unequivocally apologetic over it. If that’s not good enough, than you must be from a world where everyone does things just perfectly, with no deviation. That’s certainly not my world, if it’s yours all power to you.

    As for Justine Sacco, I found her remark far more hurtful; it certainly doesn’t help matters that she allowed it to remain on her twitter profile for awhile before attending to it, either. That said, it sure sounds like she’s paid one hell of a price for a dumb tweet. I’m not so sure the punishment is commensurate with the crime. Just sayin’.

    • TheOriginalKitten says:

      ITA with everything except the last two sentences in your post.

      • renata says:

        Well, on top of her getting fired from her job, I read that her family is now getting death threats. Not to mention she sounded as if she was totally losing it following all this press about what happened. I don’t appreciate what she said on twitter, but I don’t think it rates death threats against a family that had nothing to do with her big mouth on twitter.

        It just seems to me like people make some foul move on twitter and the next thing their life is destroyed. Tweeting is becoming the contemporary equivalent of playing Russian Roulette. Just ask Anthony Weiner. He probably would have been the mayor of NYC! It just strikes me at times that the punishments we create don’t quite fit the crimes that are committed. I thought this whole tweeting business was supposed to be fun and humorous.

      • LadySlippers says:

        I agree. We’ve gone SO overboard with our condemnation. People are human and make mistakes. Let them apologise and let’s move on. If it’s not a sincere apology, make note, and avoid them in the future.

        However, I do agree that Justine Sacco should have lost her PR job if she has a history of offensive comments; death threats, however, are not okay. Ever.

    • sun says:

      He’s white so therefore he is evil and racist. He needs to grovel and abase himself so the morally superior PC brigade can be magnanimous and “forgive” him of his sin and welcome him into the new religion of PC with open arms. Funny how when people tear down religion, the thing they build in it’s place is basically exactly the same, yet they fall all over themselves insisting that it’s completely different and “we don’t judge, we’re open minded and tolerant” (as long as you believe EXACTLY as you’re told)! Of course, like Original Sin, the sin of being born white cannot ever be atoned for. You will always be an evil racist oppressor that constantly needs to “save your soul” by hatred of your race, culture and heritage…and working to destroy it at every opportunity. Perhaps if he adopts a few minority children he will be able to be forgiven for this sin, but probably not. He IS white, after all.

      Ed note: troll banned

  37. Esme de la Torre says:

    I’m glad he apologized. FYI, a link to a classic post by naming expert Laura Wattenberg on African American names and urban legends -

  38. Mark says:

    EWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW It’s a joke you sensitive bunch of babies, why does he need to apologize to you? Get over yourself you bunch self righteous fools

    Holy moly does anyone on the internet have sense of humour?

  39. LaurieH says:

    It seems to me that the internet has become little more than social bullhorn in which we hop on every day for the purpose of announcing who and what has offended us. Not a day goes by when someone somewhere, famous or not, says something that sends my eyebrows toward the sky, my jaw toward the ground or my eyeballs rolling in their sockets. So what? They weren’t put on this earth for my pleasure and approval.

    Why is everyone so preoccupied with being offended and deliberating over whether or not apologies should be made, analyzing the sincerity of the apology and then deciding whether or not we can stop Windexing our glass houses long enough to deign forgiveness? People screw up. They do and say monumentally stupid and insensitive things and I can hardly think of anyone who is exempt from this. I know I’m not. Personally, as an old chick who has seen it all, I’d rather people let their inner flags fly, say what they want and then I will choose for myself (and not others) whether I want that person in my life. Mostly, I just roll my eyes and move on knowing that none of it will matter when I breathe my last breath.

    • Sloane Wyatt says:

      @LaurieH, you raise some really great points.

      Maybe the internet is a forum we can hop on to announce who we are and what we stand for. Me, I stand for being kind, being loving, and being silly. I don’t always make the first two, but I unfailingly hit the 3rd!

      One of the great things about being alive today is that we know we are not alone; we know we are all connected, at least through the internet community. There seems to be a lid for every pot if you will, a sub group for whatever floats your boat.

      I believe we all are one drop in an ocean that’s a speck in infinity, but what we leave behind matters. We can and do affect every life that intersects with our own. (Yes, it’s wise to make make choices of who we share our short span with, but I’m born aloft knowing everyone, without exception, will teach me something.)

      It heartens me to comment on a site where folks are open to admitting when they’re wrong, where they’re open to new ideas, and where there’s a nice mixture of comedy and serious topics that really matter. Obviously, racism is a big one that affects ALL OF US, whether we admit it or not.

      I grew up traveling all over the world and learned early about all the completely unnecessary artificial barriers we erect in ourselves, let alone the false blockades we put up to keep the ‘other’ at bay. Celebitchy is not just a fun place to let off steam; it’s a classroom for anyone willing to sit down. *pun intended*

  40. Feebee says:

    I got his joke, thought it was funny. But I appreciate how it was also considered offensive and so he apologised as he should. He doesn’t get a pass, it’s just noted and I guess if he does anything similar the reaction will heavier because he won’t have learnt.

  41. Anorexicsupermodel says:

    Twitter has really given a voice to all of the mindless undeserving narcissistic idiots of the world. You couldn’t pay me to have a FB or a Twitter.

  42. St says:

    Firing that woman over twit? That’s harsh. Smart people should just learn that these days you should not be on Twitter or Facebook. That thing can literally ruin your life. We see if more and more often. You can’t say anything now. One time you will say something without over-thinking it (because it’s twitter and this is what people do) and then your whole like might be destroyed when good people will hate you to death for years after it. People should just go off social media. It’s simply dangerous.

    You I know I have a theory that celebrity do this on purpose. Because they are all tired of that bulling too. You know when one time someone was called racist for silly reason and people were so angry that they bullied that celebrity for weeks, then second time it happened, they third, 15-th, 23-rd… and eventually people will stop care and will just shame then in one article and won’t demand them to apology on their knees and get fired.

  43. randmanrandy says:

    i don’t get the joke, is it a Eubonics thing? If so, just a lame old school joke nothing more. Btw, i’m Irish, heard any good Irish jokes lately?

  44. St says:

    Ok I read the chronology of that Justine chick situation on

    Yeah, it was offense and stupid. And she can blame herself. But I’m sure there are million offensive tweets every day, from stupid teenagers or adults. Yet this woman was randomly picked out of them all and harassed with such worldwide hate. Oh my God. Just read the whole thing how it started and was going. It is one thing when we laugh at Bieber, Miley Cyrus, Shia or Kristen Stewart. It another thing when whole world picked some random woman and then harasses her like that. There she was sitting in the plane and then she landed and discovered that whole world hates her, her life is ruined, she is fired and probably every person she knows is walking past her, making it look like they don’t know her… Scariest thing is that any person can be on her place. Even those who shame her and joined that #HasJustineLandedYet Witch Hunt.

    This is not like with that Duck Dynasty guy or Alec Baldwin. At least they are celebrities, are prepared for it and have money and lawyers to defend themselves. This woman is completely defenseless. Her whole life was ruined in one moment. Media even showed her pictures, they scrolled down and published her past twits…. What will those people say if she will kill herself in few weeks? Every single one of them will be to blame.

    It looks like that story with that nurse at Prince William and Kate hospital did not taught society anything. This is not some funny laugh at celebrity. This person is real and not celebrity. All she can do now is to change her hair color, name and move to other country under fake personality and try to find work. This is not the punishment she deserved for that offensive tweet. There has to be line in that bullying. Even this site is like: “Merry Christmas!”

    I actually now begin to look a little differently at all those times we laughed at and hated Kristen, Miley, Bieber and others. I can imagine shock of celebrities when they will open any article about them and would even for one time read all that hate.

    • Sloane Wyatt says:

      It’s an extremely harsh punishment, meted out unfairly, but she needlessly and thoughtlessly exposed herself to judgement when she decided to do these offensive tweets for so long. It’s like if Justine posted herself in and included her real name.

      No one deserves death threats, yet perhaps this is an object lesson not to post anything you’d be ashamed of.

    • ERICA says:

      right and my opinion on that is that if we don’t allow ourselves to become completely transparent and let others put our own words, actions, pasts, style choices, horrible photos etc etc etc out there to the same scrutiny, we don’t get to comment.

  45. Tnicky says:

    Reading these comments are making me really sad. The lengths that people go to defend racism truly depresses me.

  46. Lila says:

    What Justine said was beyond inexcusable but I don’t agree with all the hate that Steve Martin is getting, mainly because what he said is true. Certain words are spelled differently by different cultures. I grew up spelling it lasagna but if you type lasonia into a search engine, recipes come up for what I would call lasagna. And if the context needed was an Italian restaurant, it would be lasagne. I feel like what should have been a recognition that cultures are different so context to be appropriate is needed has turned into shade.

  47. Sammy says:

    It’s not racist – black people often have dumb names by white standards. So what?

    • annaloo. says:

      Black people have dumb names by black people’s standards too! Get out of your armchair and try talking to some! My country cousins are names Quandr’esha, LaTre’isha, and there’s another one I can’t even understand and don’t bother trying (they’re family, I don’t need more headaches from them!). They’re blood, but we ALL roll our eyes at their names. And don’t even get me started on the the apostrophes!

      But if by “white people standards”, you also include Radio Science, Zip a Dee Do Daub, or Apple Martini ( you KNOW she will be called that as soon as she gets out of Goop’s gluten free grip), there’s not a lot of leg to stand on, you know.

      No one group has a monopoly on stupid names! Not even the hippies!

  48. ERICA says:

    yes I forgive him. Most often this type of “racism” is just ignorance and nothing more. Why can’t we welcome opportunities like this to discuss and enlighten?

    We don’t have to burn everyone who makes an insensitive — and yes stupid — comment at the stake. We can save that for those whose racist comments are designed to hurt. Those are the ones we should have no tolerance for.

    • Sloane Wyatt says:

      “We don’t have to burn everyone who makes an insensitive — and yes stupid — comment at the stake. We can save that for those whose racist comments are designed to hurt.” – Erica

      I’m working on that. A lot of us can go off half cocked and misread a commenter’s post, and then see downthread we misunderstood their intent. When I grow up, I’ll be able to eviscerate racists without resorting to personal attacks. Thanks for the positive reinforcement! :)

  49. Yes, of course says:

    Our skin is so thin lately…. apology accepted, now let’s move on. Those who are without sin, cast the first stone.

  50. Bobby the K says:

    Not a big deal.
    Most or all of the people complaining have said worse. Many are just in it for a phony self righteous stance.

  51. lisa says:

    i dont know any lasonias, but i knew a girl named lasagna. she had a great sense of humor about it.

  52. Amy says:

    Update: He wrote a lengthy explanation and apology and I think he’s genuinely contrite. I don’t believe Steve Martin is racist at all.

  53. Jeanette says:

    A. Her comment was stupid and thoughtless.
    B. I dont think Steve was attempting to be racist, I think he was attempting to make a joke and later thought it in bad taste, or maybe in a comedic way pointing out what a racist comment she made was.
    C. People are wayyyy to sensitive-to the point of censorship. Get over yourself.
    D. Have you ever seen Eddie Murphy imitate white people? Hilarious..point being you hear worse in stand up routines, most of them center around making fun of different cultures. Its funny ha ha move on..

  54. chuck says:

    If you play it in your head as Steve Martins voice it is funny hey I liked it

  55. Christina says:

    SM is an established COMEDIAN. Come on. Totally different. The girl is a dumbass twat who made a very obviously racist comment. Steve Martin- different story altogether. Ever seen Louis CK? Or Bill Maher? They say shit like this ALL THE TIME.

  56. allheavens says:

    Someone stated upthread that not all white people are privileged. My answer would be, yes they are. Almost everyone posting here lives in a white centric society.

    Of course there are different degrees of privilege, broken down by wealth, class, and education. But the main commonality, the one overriding privilege is white skin.

    I am not saying that you haven’t had hard times or haven’t had to work hard for what you have but if your skin is white, there are certain privileges automatically given.

    White skin comes with certain privileges that are not afforded people of color. White skin affords you the benefit of the doubt, it affords you unearned respect, it affords the privilege of being thought smarter than you actually are, it affords you the privilege of being thought more beautiful or handsome than you actually are, it affords you the right to be mediocre without having that mediocrity assigned to other people of color, it affords you the right to fail without your failure being seen as a flaw within your “race”, it affords you the ability to be professionally aggressive in the workplace without being labeled the angry (insert race here) man or woman.

    The list is endless but some are so unaware because they have had that privilege their entire lives that they cannot literally see the forest for the trees.

    So anyone who thinks that “not all white people are privileged” really are kidding themselves.

  57. juliebear75 says:

    When key and peel make fun of black names, its hilarious.
    when an old white comedian does it, its racism?
    and seriously, what’s so bad about that joke? I mean for real, that joke is some elementary school shit.

    now the girl, on the other hand, is an idiot. THAT was offensive and shows how shallow she is, and I’m glad she faced repercussions. Maybe it will open her eyes

  58. Luci says:

    He said exactly what he felt. He’s an old white man, who hasn’t been funny or relevant for a long time.

  59. drew says:

    You don’t have to have heard the name Anastagio to know it’s Italian. And what’s wrong with the name LaSonia, anyway ? It’s a real name and I like it. Don’t forget, he didn’t make the name up, someone tweeted it to him. This type of play on words joke is as olds it gets and could easily be reformulated using a name/noun combo that doesn’t involve anything African-American.

  60. Hal Russo says:

    I thought Steve Martin’s comment was aimed at us italians, but I was not offended. I thought it was funny because it’s true for me. I would have spelled it wrong.

  61. Reacher says:

    Accept his apology for what? He didn’t attack me personally.