A dash of hatred, a pinch of dated history and a sprinkling of bigotry and you’ve got yourself one heck of a scandal. Welcome to Paula Deen’s world.
The zany Southern cook is known for her personality and fatty foods – and most recently her diabetes and using the N-word.
I didn’t follow Deen’s career but her comments about African Americans has put her front and centre I can’t help but salivate at the delectable dish that is being cooked up.
This all came about when a former employee at one of Deen’s restaurants came forward with accusations Deen had made colourful comments about minorities while planning her brother’s wedding. Because of that, Deen is being sued for over $1 million.
And when there were claims of racism that made the ears of business partners perk up and re-evaluate their dealings with the sassy chef. Yes, the Food Network didn’t renew Deen’s contract when it expired in June and home-shopping channel QVC said in a statement it had no intention of having Deen on the air anytime soon. Other corporate partnerships are potentially on the chopping block awaiting word of the court case where Deen will have her say.
For her part, Deen posted online a video apology that was insincere and completely edited before it was removed an hour later. A second more well-rehearsed message followed but by that point the damage had been done. Had she taken the time to craft a response, would the public have taken it easier on her? I don’t know.
The original justification from Deen’s lawyers was that Deen grew up 60 years ago when times and thinking were different. I’ll give them that, sure. But she’s also had 60 years to update her mindset and terminology and she hasn’t taken that leap.
This is odd considering Deen appeared on NBC’s Who Do You Think You Are? where celebrities trace their family history. On the show Deen was in tears and devastated that her ancestors owned black slaves. How then could she make such hateful remarks when Deen had an eye-watering heartbreaking moment while taping that show?
I guess the past – be it decades or just a couple years ago – can have life-changing moments. On the bright side, at least we know her mouth will take a break from food since she’s got at least one foot in it.