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Food Network cancels Paula Deen's show

by Jenise » Sat Jun 22, 2013 2:16 pm

Here's the article from Huffington Post. Have to admit I involuntarily burst out laughing as I read the final paragraphs about the brother's wedding, and then the sentence that begins "Bubba and I...."

SAVANNAH, Ga. — The Food Network said Friday it's dumping Paula Deen, barely an hour after the celebrity cook posted the first of two videotaped apologies online begging forgiveness from fans and critics troubled by her admission to having used racial slurs in the past.

The 66-year-old Savannah kitchen celebrity has been swamped in controversy since court documents filed this week revealed Deen told an attorney questioning her under oath last month that she has used the N-word. "Yes, of course," Deen said, though she added, "It's been a very long time."

The Food Network, which made Deen a star with "Paula's Home Cooking" in 2002 and later "Paula's Home Cooking" in 2008, weighed in with a terse statement Friday afternoon.

"Food Network will not renew Paula Deen's contract when it expires at the end of this month," the statement said. Network representatives declined further comment. A representative for Deen did not immediately return phone and email messages seeking comment on the decision.

The news came as Deen worked to repair the damage to her image, which has spawned a vast empire of cookbooks, a bimonthly cooking magazine, a full line of cookware, food items like spices and even furniture.

She abruptly canceled a scheduled interview on NBC's "Today" show Friday morning, instead opting for a direct appeal via online video – one that allowed her and her staff complete control of what she said and how she said it.

"Inappropriate, hurtful language is totally, totally unacceptable," Deen said in the first 45-second video posted on YouTube. "I've made plenty of mistakes along the way but I beg you, my children, my team, my fans, my partners - I beg for your forgiveness."

Deen adopted a solemn tone as she looked straight into the camera. Still, her recorded apology featured three obvious edits – with the picture quickly fading out between splices – during a statement just five sentences long.

It was soon scrapped and replaced with a second video of Deen talking unedited for nearly two minutes as she insists: "Your color of your skin, your religion, your sexual preference does not matter to me."

""I want people to understand that my family and I are not the kind of people that the press is wanting to say we are," Deen says in the later video. "The pain has been tremendous that I have caused to myself and to others."

Deen never mentions Food Network or its decision to drop her in either of her online videos.

Deen initially planned to give her first interview on the controversy Friday to the "Today" show, which promoted her scheduled appearance as a live exclusive. Instead, host Matt Lauer ended up telling viewers that Deen's representatives pulled the plug because she was exhausted after her flight to New York. Deen said in her video she was "physically not able" to appear.

Court records show Deen sat down for a deposition May 17 in a discrimination lawsuit filed last year by a former employee who managed Uncle Bubba's Seafood and Oyster House, a Savannah restaurant owned by Deen and her brother, Bubba Hiers. The ex-employee, Lisa Jackson, says she was sexually harassed and worked in a hostile environment rife with innuendo and racial slurs.

During the deposition, Deen was peppered with questions about her racial attitudes. At one point she's asked if she thinks jokes using the N-word are "mean." Deen says jokes often target minority groups and "I can't, myself, determine what offends another person."

Deen also acknowledged she briefly considered hiring all black waiters for her brother's 2007 wedding, an idea inspired by the staff at a restaurant she had visited with her husband. She insisted she quickly dismissed the idea.

But she also insisted she and her brother have no tolerance for bigotry.

"Bubba and I, neither one of us, care what the color of your skin is" or what gender a person is, Deen said. "It's what's in your heart and in your head that matters to us."
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: Food Network cancels Paula Deen's show

by Jo Ann Henderson » Sat Jun 22, 2013 3:18 pm

Personally, I think we need to cut Paula some slack. She is a white woman who grew up in the Jim Crow south where it was common that if you had a tint of color in your skin, Nigger was your first name, Boy was your middle name, and your sir name was whatever some white person decided it would be (only if was decided you needed one). When you know better you do better, which is where we should be focusing our attention on Miss Paula. We all would have known she was lying if she had said anything different. I believe she is truly sorry to have to reveal her soul in such a public manner. She knows which side her bread is buttered on. The lions share of her patrons are black people and the greater share of those recipes she is serving up did not originate in white kitchens. I assume we all know that! Are some of the things she said hurtful? Yes, because it brings up a (not too distant) past we would sooner forget. Some of us! You only need took at the way our current President is referred to and treatedto know that not all that much has changed in attitudes. We've only managed to clean up behaviors and the language a bit in some arenas. But, at least it's a start. While I don't hold Paula in high regard as a celebrity cook, she's alright, for a ...
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Re: Food Network cancels Paula Deen's show

by Karen/NoCA » Sat Jun 22, 2013 4:10 pm

While I am not a fan of Paula Deen's show, I do watch on occasion, and lately have been interested in watching her son take momma's recipes and break them down into a healthier dish. Not sure Paula is totally in agreement with "son". I think there is more going on here than she or Food Network is saying. Seems odd to me that they would make a fuss over something she said in the past. I can think a a handful of shows that I'd like to see them toss. Paula seems to have a decent following, given the comments I looked for under some of her recipes.
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Re: Food Network cancels Paula Deen's show

by Fred Sipe » Sat Jun 22, 2013 4:32 pm

Can't say I'm going to miss her. I always found her quite annoying. Y'all.
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Re: Food Network cancels Paula Deen's show

by Mike Filigenzi » Sat Jun 22, 2013 4:56 pm

I've never watched her show for more than 5 minutes because that's all I can take of the woman. Nonetheless, I agree with Jo Ann. For her to have come out in a legal proceeding and stated that she'd never used the word "nigger" would have been pretty much unbelievable. She grew up in a time and place where that was just how people talked. That doesn't make it right but the relevant question would be whether she's risen above such attitudes. Tolerating racial jokes in a workplace is a different matter and something that would leave her vulnerable to a lawsuit like this. Without knowing the details of the claims of her ex-employee (or that ex-employee's potential motives) it seems a bit early to crucify Ms. Deen, though.

I did read something in another article about a claim that she "condoned pornography in the workplace". Yeesh.
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Re: Food Network cancels Paula Deen's show

by Karen/NoCA » Sat Jun 22, 2013 5:12 pm

I found an article in the Chicago-Sun Times that went into a little more detail, there is more involved here than racial slurs.

http://www.suntimes.com/news/mitchell/20885923-452/mitchell-paula-deens-behavior-insults-blacks-women.html
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Re: Food Network cancels Paula Deen's show

by Jenise » Sat Jun 22, 2013 6:19 pm

Karen/NoCA wrote:I found an article in the Chicago-Sun Times that went into a little more detail, there is more involved here than racial slurs.

http://www.suntimes.com/news/mitchell/20885923-452/mitchell-paula-deens-behavior-insults-blacks-women.html


Here's better information from a Wash Post article:


Among the allegations, Deen is said to have made racially offensive comments, including one regarding the desired dress code for servers at her brother’s wedding.

“Well what I would really like is a bunch of little n***ers to wear long-sleeve white shirts, black shorts and black bow ties, you know in the Shirley Temple days, they used to tap dance around,” Jackson claims Deen told her. "Now, that would be a true Southern wedding wouldn't it? But we can't do that because the media would be on me about that."

According to the documents, Jackson became the General Manager of the restaurant after her male predecessor was fired for engaging in sexual relationships with the servers. In the meeting, Deen allegedly said: "If you think I have worked this hard to lose everything because of a piece of p**y, you better think again, and now I'm going to do something I have never done I am going to put a woman in a man's job."

For his part, Hiers is said to have downloaded pornography onto his computer in the office that he shared with Jackson. He also allegedly printed out photos of women having sex with each other with a caption reading, “Why Gay Marriage Should Be Legal.”

Jackson left the restaurant after five years because -- she claims -- management failed to take action despite her multiple complaints of sexual harassment. She is suing both Deen and Hiers individually, as well as Deen’s companies
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Re: Food Network cancels Paula Deen's show

by Hoke » Sun Jun 23, 2013 4:33 pm

Paula and Bubba appear to be just sweet southern white folk, don't they. It's like Disney's Song of the South, but without animation.
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Re: Food Network cancels Paula Deen's show

by Karen/NoCA » Tue Jun 25, 2013 11:41 am

Heard this morning that Paul's fans have unleased on the Food Network. This is all so silly for something she did a long time ago. Wonder how innocent those suits at the Food Network are!
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Re: Food Network cancels Paula Deen's show

by Redwinger » Tue Jun 25, 2013 12:23 pm

Here's a copy of the plaintiff's complaint:

http://www.atlawblog.com/wp-content/upl ... plaint.pdf

Obviously, this is only a complaint and unproven, but that is quite an impressive list of grievances compiled by Ms. Jackson.

I think PD's apologies might have helped her PR, if they had contained or communicated any sense of sincerity or regret. IMO, the apologies were hollow and I believe PD has no idea what all the fuss is about.
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Re: Food Network cancels Paula Deen's show

by Hoke » Tue Jun 25, 2013 3:15 pm

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Re: Food Network cancels Paula Deen's show

by Mike Filigenzi » Wed Jun 26, 2013 12:21 am

It's getting harder and harder to feel sympathetic towards her.
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Re: Food Network cancels Paula Deen's show

by Mike Filigenzi » Wed Jun 26, 2013 10:33 am

Here's a take on Paula Deen as
"America's Racist Grandma". I like the approach.
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Re: Food Network cancels Paula Deen's show

by Karen/NoCA » Wed Jun 26, 2013 12:03 pm

Interesting outlook, I enjoyed reading the comments, lots of good insights there, especially the one from Dale in Louisville. There is a totally different culture in the South, which many of us find difficult to understand. I have never been back there, but know a couple who spent a lot of time there working with the Red Cross on several trips. They were always very happy to get back out west.
Too bad she covered up the evil deeds of her brother for so long. I guess we never know for sure how we would react if we were in the same position, but she should have stepped in and put a stop to it. What is wrong is wrong, no matter where you live or were born.
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Re: Food Network cancels Paula Deen's show

by Karen/NoCA » Wed Jun 26, 2013 12:07 pm


I get bits and pieces of news and have not been able to really get into it. This is a busy week for me. Thanks for the link, I will be sure to take a look.
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Re: Food Network cancels Paula Deen's show

by Jo Ann Henderson » Wed Jun 26, 2013 1:04 pm

Mike Filigenzi wrote:Here's a take on Paula Deen as
"America's Racist Grandma". I like the approach.

The approach is interesting, but it's flawed. I find it cringe worthy whenever the response to someone or something reprehensible is, "yeah, but s/he's RICH". Rich is not the point. Let's face it, the average "old money" rich person got that way by exploiting and standing on the backs of those less fortunate -- and there are stories to be told. It doesn't condone their past or current deeds/behavior. Secondly, she should be punished and that punishment should be to force her to remain on television is schizophrenic at best. Third, Paula is no chef. At most, she is a homemaker made good by a few recipes, the origin of which are questionable. (Ever seen the original imitation of life?) That being said, I still say we should cut her a little slack. She is a product of her times. How could we have expected any more/less from her, even with the veneer of new-found decency? In light of this revelation (for some) and the Supreme Court decision yesterday, I think we should celebrate with a song. Randy Newmanalways strikes just the right chord for such an occasion. Enjoy!
"...To undersalt deliberately in the name of dietary chic is to omit from the music of cookery the indispensable bass line over which all tastes and smells form their harmonies." -- Robert Farrar Capon
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Re: Food Network cancels Paula Deen's show

by Ryan M » Wed Jun 26, 2013 1:46 pm

I haven't been paying much attention to all of this (not a Paula Deen fan, and don't watch Food Network), but I can't help but wonder whether there was more going on between her and the Network, given the way they jumped rather quickly to canceling the show. Because this was, as far as I can tell, a single past incident that wasn't in a professional context, and she has apologized. It almost seems as if they might have been looking for a reason to cancel her.
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Re: Food Network cancels Paula Deen's show

by Mike Filigenzi » Wed Jun 26, 2013 4:51 pm

Jo Ann Henderson wrote:
Mike Filigenzi wrote:Here's a take on Paula Deen as
"America's Racist Grandma". I like the approach.

The approach is interesting, but it's flawed. I find it cringe worthy whenever the response to someone or something reprehensible is, "yeah, but s/he's RICH". Rich is not the point. Let's face it, the average "old money" rich person got that way by exploiting and standing on the backs of those less fortunate -- and there are stories to be told. It doesn't condone their past or current deeds/behavior. Secondly, she should be punished and that punishment should be to force her to remain on television is schizophrenic at best. Third, Paula is no chef. At most, she is a homemaker made good by a few recipes, the origin of which are questionable. (Ever seen the original imitation of life?) That being said, I still say we should cut her a little slack. She is a product of her times. How could we have expected any more/less from her, even with the veneer of new-found decency? In light of this revelation (for some) and the Supreme Court decision yesterday, I think we should celebrate with a song. Randy Newmanalways strikes just the right chord for such an occasion. Enjoy!



I guess your takeaways from that were a bit different from mine. I saw the main point as being that her continued appearance in public will force the subject to stay more front-and-center than it will if Deen is just banished from view. Such a thing may not be possible - any show she hosts may not be able to retain any sponsors. Nonetheless, I see total banishment as being more of the "nothing to see here, move along folks" attitude. Certainly, there will be many of us who will never be able to look at her again without thinking about this incident. I agree that her level of wealth or income is beside the point.

On a personal level, I more or less agree with you. She is certainly a product of her time and place of origin.
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Re: Food Network cancels Paula Deen's show

by Jenise » Wed Jun 26, 2013 6:35 pm

Jo Ann Henderson wrote:That being said, I still say we should cut her a little slack. She is a product of her times. How could we have expected any more/less from her, even with the veneer of new-found decency? In light of this revelation (for some) and the Supreme Court decision yesterday, I think we should celebrate with a song.


Enjoyed the Randy Newman interlude, thanks.

And, I agree with you pretty much down the line. Not so much with "cutting her some slack" as not rushing to be politically correct, but it ends up in the same place. She's a product of her times AND place. It's not up to me to forgive her or not, so I don't, but I saw her crying on the news this morning, a replay of something that had occurred on one of the morning shows, and if that stuff doesn't stop I may have to judge her more harshly. Crying and pleading isn't the way out of this.
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Re: Food Network cancels Paula Deen's show

by Karen/NoCA » Wed Jun 26, 2013 8:27 pm

Crying and pleading isn't the way out of this.


Ah, but have you not known women/girls in the past, or maybe even now who use tears to get what they want. I want to whack them!
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Re: Food Network cancels Paula Deen's show

by Robin Garr » Fri Jun 28, 2013 9:39 am

Seen online:

"I hear Paula Deen's Ku Klux Klam Chowder is amazing! Be sure to ask for the white sauce ..."
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Re: Food Network cancels Paula Deen's show

by Alan Wolfe » Sun Jun 30, 2013 11:26 am

Here is a slightly different take on Paula Deen's fall from grace.

www.americanthinker.com/2013/06/the_att ... _deen.html
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Re: Food Network cancels Paula Deen's show

by Jo Ann Henderson » Sun Jun 30, 2013 12:36 pm

The article doesn't elevate the conversation, Alan. What is it you are trying to say by linking it? Besides which, I didn't get the "it's about greed" connection with Paula's endorsements going south. Please explain.
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