LOS ANGELES (AP) — Tim Allen isn't a fan of the N-word — not just the word, but the phrase.

The 60-year-old actor-comedian told the Tampa Bay Times in Florida that the term "N-word" is worse than the racial slur it represents.

The star of the TV shows "Home Improvement" and "Last Man Standing," and films such as "The Santa Clause" said he thinks the criticism that keeps non-black comedians from using the actual N-word is a step backward from the days when Richard Pryor and Lenny Bruce purposefully used such language.

Allen's comments were published this week ahead of a stand-up performance. But he made them last month after it was revealed celebrity chef Paula Deen admitted using racial slurs in the past.

His comments weren't taken lightly on social networking sites.

In a statement provided by his spokeswoman, Allen says it wasn't his intention to offend anyone.

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