Over the weekend, actor and comedian Steve Martin apologized for a tweet many deemed “racist,” calling it ”highly inappropriate” himself on Sunday after the fact.

Friday night while exchanging grammar jokes, one of Martin’s more than 4.5 million followers asked him “Is this how you spell lasonia?”

Martin’s replied: ”It depends. Are you in an African-American neighborhood or at an Italian restaurant?”

steve martin

Steve Martin acknowledged that what he wrote was in poor taste but pointed out that he was criticizing anyone’s spelling skills, as some had alluded to. (Photo credit: s_bukley / Shutterstock.com)

Martin’s tweet quickly went viral with many calling out the former “Saturday Night Live” star:

Sorry about that. RT @: I'm not totally offended but I don't want to be the one saying it. It was witty. But nawl. Not today.
Steve Martin Deletes and Apologizes for Racist Tweet
Steve Martin
To say the least RT @: @ In retrospect, bad joke.
Steve Martin Deletes and Apologizes for Racist Tweet
I did apologize. But again, a second later I realized what an offensive thing I'd done. Deep bow. @
Steve Martin Deletes and Apologizes for Racist Tweet
Steve Martin

By Sunday, Martin had responded to criticism calling the tweet “highly inappropriate” but noting that “there is a misquoted version.” TMZ had originally reported the misquoted version of Martin’s tweet.

“It depends. Are you in an African-American restaurant or at an Italian restaurant,” TMZ wrote before correcting the error, according to Twitchy.

Notice how this transcription of the tweet says “African-American restaurant” not “African-American neighborhood,” the latter of which Martin actually wrote.

“The original version of this post stated that Martin’s tweet denigrated the spelling ability of people who live in African American neighborhoods,” Twitchy wrote. “A more likely explanation is that he was referencing the tendency of some African Americans to use names that include the prefix ‘La.’ If we misinterpreted his joke (and we think we probably did), we apologize.”

Martin is not the only celebrity of late to be slammed for his words. Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson has seen several days of backlash — and support from fans — for his controversial comments about homosexuality.

(H/T: Daily Mail)