Tim Allen is not afraid to say he thinks saying the "n-word" is way worse than saying the slur the euphemism stands for.
In an interview with the Tampa Bay Times, the 60-year-old actor opened up about the slur in the wake of Paula Deen's fall from grace following her admittance to using it.
"I've had this argument on stage a million times," Allen said. "I do a movie with Martin Lawrence and pretty soon they're referring to me, 'hey my n*****'s up.' So I'm the n*****' if I'm around you guys but 7 feet away, if I said n*****, it's not right. 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."
The "Home Improvement" star added that he felt "we're going backwards in the world" following the controversy regarding the way the industry reacted to Deen's admission.
"When Paula Deen (admits her language) they go after her," the actor said. "So this debate rages in the public, but when it goes out to 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 to the line," Allen added. "it gets really intense; we're running backwards."
Last month news broke that the celebrity chef had admitted to using the racial slur during a May 17 deposition for a $1.2 million lawsuit filed in 2012. Ever since, the 66-year-old TV star has seen her life crumble as she was fired from the Food Network, lost deals with Wal-Mart, J.C. Penney, Walgreens, Sears, Kmart and Target, was dropped by her publisher and most recently parted ways with her longtime agent.
Allen is just one of the many people who have spoken on behalf of Deen after her fallout. Pierce Morgan and a former African-American employee, among others, have also stepped forward to defend the celebrity chef.