Tim Allen has gotten a lot of animosity over this…
Tim Allen, Buzz Lightyear’s voice, is trending on Twitter just over a week from the launch of “Toy Story 4,” but not for the purpose Disney would expect. The star of the conservative-leaning hit show “Last Man Standing” is being branded as a “racist” and “bigot” for a comment about the “N-word” from a 6-year-old interview.
The whole thing started with Allen admitting that he doesn’t know much about Spades in a promotional interview with Tom Hanks ahead of the film’s release. “Tom Hanks is so cool I tested his knowledge of black culture,” tweeted media personality and “self-taught” journalist Xilla Valentine.
Tom Hanks is so cool I tested his knowledge of black culture. pic.twitter.com/aGrJdD1Qjh
— The All-Mighty Xilla Valentine (@BlogXilla) June 11, 2019
The post prompted one Twitterer to blast Allen as “openly racist.”
“Tim Allen is openly racist now and I love seeing him squirm here,” wrote Jeremy Bearimy, adding in a follow-up tweet that Allen wouldn’t like the idea of having “the black card.”
Tim Allen is openly racist now and I love seeing him squirm here. https://t.co/yxeZXY0ozT
— jeremy bearimy (@crissles) June 11, 2019
tim allen at the thought of having a black card. pic.twitter.com/dLKbPguuIc
— jeremy bearimy (@crissles) June 11, 2019
The comment started to stir up some attention, and confusion, online with most blasting Bearimy for appearing to conclude that Allen was “openly racist” because of the interview. In response, Bearimy wrote, “Normally 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.”
normally 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.
— jeremy bearimy (@crissles) June 12, 2019
What exactly is the supposed evidence that Allen is “openly racist”? The accusation appears to trace back to a comment Allen made about the “N-word” from six years ago. The Guardian reported in July 2013 (censored):
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.”
While Allen’s critics made clear that they believe this comment is certifiable “proof” that he’s “openly racist,” others have come to the actor’s defense. Some argued that “context” matters. “I’m sorry but what he said maybe wrong, but the word isnt just racist, context is everything. You’d be racist for reading some uhh older books,” wrote one Allen defender. “Ok. And he’s racist how? When not used in a derogatory context, it’s not racist,” said another. Others pointed out that the interview is 6 years old and that Allen’s a comedian who works with “edgy” material. “I mean, to be fair he said it in his act as far back as the 80s. Hell, the article above is over 6 years old and he’d been doing it forever at that point. Not saying it’s a good thing, just saying edgy stuff has always been his thing,” wrote one defender. Others suggested that Allen’s being targeted because of his support for Trump. “Why don’t you just admit this is solely because he’s a Trump supporter you nutjobs,” blasted one defender.
Other Allen defenders have pointed to some of his recent actions, including philanthropic work with Disney, as evidence that he’s not some “hateful bigot”:
This weekend, actors Tim Allen and Tom Hanks helped The Walt Disney Company kick off its annual Disney Toy Delivery—a part of the Disney Team of Heroes philanthropic initiative—at AdventHealth for Children in Orlando, Florida: https://t.co/mZRXHzqGXg pic.twitter.com/CK8wXK8qjS
— Walt Disney Company (@WaltDisneyCo) June 10, 2019