Some social media users have branded conservative actor Tim Allen as “openly racist” after a new interview prompted an old interview to resurface.
One interview in question, which was conducted approximately six years ago, featured “The Last Man Standing” actor remarking on the use of the N-word.
How on earth did this even happen?
It all began after a promotional video for “Toy Story 4” emerged in which journalist Xilla Valentine interviewed Allen and co-star Tom Hanks, and quizzed them on their knowledge of black culture. Valentine shared a snippet of the interview and captioned it, “Tom Hanks is so cool I tested his knowledge of black culture.” He didn’t mention Allen in the caption at all.
In the video, Valentine asked the actors how they would play a card game called Spades. During the exchange, Valentine and Hanks discussed Spades strategy, and Allen interjected that he had no idea what they’re talking about.
“I don’t know what you guys are talking about,” Allen said. “I don’t have any idea what you guys just said.”
Hanks responded to Allen, “You don’t know how to play spades?” to which Allen replied, “I’m going to pretend I do cause I want to move on now.”
Some social media users watched the clip and went on to that the interview clip was more evidence that Allen is racist.
One user — whose tweet received a lot of attention — wrote, “Tim Allen is openly racist now and I love seeing him squirm here.”
The user’s remarks prompted a conversation, which forced the user to respond.
He later wrote, “[N]ormally I try not to call y’all stupid but the number of people here who think I’m calling Allen racist because of *this* video is truly alarming. America really gotta work on teaching reading comprehension.”
After the clip went viral, social media users went on to point out a 2013 interview in which Allen discussed using the N-word in comedy, and as a man who believes he is “clearly” not a racist.
The interview, according to The Guardian, included the following passage:
Comedian and actor Tim Allen is in a spot of bother this week. Specifically for telling the Tampa Bay Times that he should be able to say the n-word as much as he likes. “If I have no intent, if I show no intent, if I clearly am not a racist, then how can ‘n****r’ be bad coming out of my mouth?” asked Allen. The comic, who claimed to use the word regularly in his standup, added that “[the phrase] ‘the n-word’ is worse to me than n****r.” African-American commentators politely but firmly disagreed. “Here’s a general rule of thumb to follow when using the n-word for white people,” said sociologist, author and radio host Michael Eric Dyson on MSNBC: “Never.”