I Am Not An Actress

June 26, 2013 | By | COMMENTS

That’s Paula Deen on The Today Show. What do you think? Is she being sincere or does she deserve an Emmy? In my opinion, it’s a little of both.

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Categories: Food Bits

  • Roberto Jose Burnett

    She’s doing damage control. . . I still have 2 of her cookbooks; they are part of my collection and I will refer to them. I’ll skip out, however, on visiting the Lady & Sons anytime I might be in Savannah. I do confess I’d love to hear what Bourdain has to say about it all . . .

  • brooklynite

    the defense of her that’s creeping up is a bunch of nonsense in my opinion. The lawsuit against her is clear: she provided a hostile environment to work in for various people (everything from racial epithets to showing pornography was cited). This is much more than just her using the n-word one time (although does ANYONE believe she has only said it once?) The plantation-themed wedding – where the servers would be all black – is not something to take lightly and she should, as a public figure be held accountable. Yes, she’s a product of her times, whatever that means. But she’s also a business leader and a manager of employees in 2013, and needs to abide, just like everyone else, the laws and social norms that are actually important, actually valid, to live by. The cries of PC-gone-foul feels dangerous.

  • Jennifer Cartright

    She has an ugly cry face. She should have just said I am what I am on Friday. Her PR team is awful.

  • Esme

    Her ‘let those without sin cast the first stone’ defense is rather absurd. She’s absolving herself from being judged for her wrongs because other people aren’t perfect either? Sorry, doesn’t fly. Also her new confession of only using the n-word once (and only when held at gunpoint… really?) seems unlikely given her previous statements. I think she really does feel some sort of guilt and there is some thin lining of sincerity there; but I also think she’s more sad at her fall from grace and loss of revenue than being actually sorry for her previous actions.

  • Kirk

    I live in Cumming Ga. and have spent a lot of time in Savannah Ga. I do not like Paula Deen and have never eaten at her restaurants. That being said, the fact that she used the N word and talked about a plantation wedding should not be used to pillory her. When I grew up in Tucker Ga. I was beaten and called names because I befriended the black kids at my school. We still had black and white drinking fountains and waiting rooms in the town. (1966) Paula is the same age as I am. Everyone I knew where I lived used the N word. It doesn’t surprise me that it came out of her mouth in a time of stress. She is a product of her environment. She doesn’t have involvement in her brothers restaurant other than money. She doesn’t treat people wrong and seems to be a loving woman. Kick her brother in the ass, but leave her alone. I am married to a Black woman and used the N word in reference to a movie one time. Believe me I’ll not do it again. Did it make me a racist or just ignorant?

  • http://www.thepickygirl.com Jenn

    Here’s my two cents: I don’t excuse racism of any kind. I don’t agree that “everyone has said it,” and I live in Texas. The fact that she doesn’t think having all black waiters dressed in white for a wedding is a problem is troublesome, at best.

    That said, the public apology everyone utilizes these days has become ridiculous. At this point, no matter what she says/does, no one will believe her, and this is true of most public figures who make public apologies. Instead of railing against her, I wish this would open more dialogue about inherent racism and subtle racism and why it’s just as much/possibly more dangerous than the blatant racism of past decades.

    Instead, we like to hold up one person as an example & shame/defend her. It divides us further and troubles me. I’m done thinking and talking about Paula Deen. Let’s talk about why we still have these problems and why such attitudes still abound. Because for damn sure, she’s not the only one.

    Annnnd, done. Sorry, but I teach American Literature and national conversations and how they’re framed fascinate me.

  • jk

    I think Paula has an opportunity here, as a public figure, as someone who is a “product of her generation,” as a representative of southern culture, etc, etc, to hold herself and those like her accountable. With all of the media attention she’s getting, a dialogue about race, about what it meant to her growing up and what it means now, about her own attitudes and those of men and women like her, is really the only way she can redeem herself. The brave thing to do would be to own up to it, and admit that yes, she is racist. She is racist like most of America is racist, not in the “I hate xyz people” sort of way, but in the casual, insidious subtle prejudice way that will take us twice as long to eradicate.

    But I don’t think she’ll do that, and so I can’t feel sorry for her. For her to ask for sympathy from the viewer for losing a handful of million dollar contracts and people “saying things about her without knowing her!” is sad and ironic given the topic of discussion… What does she think its like to be a person of color in a hostile work environment? Oh well, millions of people will rally behind her and defend her casual racism and continue to buy her products, and everyone will forget about it, and the problem will go completely unchanged.

  • Jon

    Believe the food, not the person. I haven’t trusted Paula Deen since she hid her diabetes diagnosis until her new cookbook was ready to be launched. That being said, she does provide tasty recipes.

  • Harbormom

    FINALLY! Someone who realizes this ain’t about her using a racial slur; it’s about her entire empire allowing a hostile work environment, even after numerous complaints had been brought to her attention. I think she is sincerely sorry she got her fanny in this tailspin.

  • martha

    I think what words she’s used when is pretty immaterial. The important question is whether she maintained or permitted a hostile work environment. The fact that she doesn’t address that makes me skeptical.

    Meanwhile, I think a lot of what’s going on is a reaction to the fact that she’s Peter Principled herself into a position in American culture and cuisine that she simply has never deserved on the merits. That makes her position up there on that pinnacle extremely insecure as we now see.

    All the tears — alligator or genuine aside — she’s at a retirement age and she can retire more than comfortably on the fortune she’s already amassed. That should be enough once this furor has died down. And I hope, IF she has allowed racial or gender discrimination, the employees who may have been victims of it can say as much in time.

  • JK

    I think we run into this problem a lot discussion race in America, because in most people’s mind a “racist” is a Nazi or a KKK member, and so everyone is very quick to distance themselves from these images.

    The fact is that everyone has prejudiced thoughts, tendencies, and has probably said or thought something racist in their lives. They are products of their environment, as you say. They are ignorant or misinformed. Are they “racists”? Maybe not in the scary, frothing hate way, but they have racist tendencies.

    But Paula Dean is a public figure and modern business woman. She has been a public figure for long enough to know what is and is not acceptable, and it is no one’s responsibility but hers to make sure she is informed. You made a comment in private to one person. When she says something like this it goes out to millions, and she knows it. The truth is she thought she could get away with it. The allegations were about a hostile work environment, not one word spoken one time. Her statement that she “cant know what offends people” is ridiculous. If you know that, now, shouldn’t she?

  • James

    Sorry, I am not buying it.

  • Lydia

    I think she is sincerely sorry her feelings were made public. I read the deposition… not pretty. Not prettay tah-tol.

  • Anonymous

    Late response — I wouldn’t recommend The Lady & Sons regardless of this controversy. Everything on the buffet is so drenched in salt you can barely discern the flavors. It was an enjoyable experience to visit there, and there’s a great little gift shop attached to the restaurant, but anyone who has to restrict sodium (like my dad) woudl positively have a stroke eating there.