Home Celeb Watch Paula Deen’s Even More of a Scumbag Than I Thought

Paula Deen’s Even More of a Scumbag Than I Thought

by Erika Nicole Kendall

So, listen. By now, I’m sure you’ve already heard the news:

Celebrity chef Paula Deen has admitted to using the N-word and telling insensitive racial jokes during a May 17 deposition that was videotaped — and also confessed to her brother’s cocaine, pornography and alcohol addictions!

Gah, I can't stand this woman.

Gah, I can’t stand this woman.

Paula, 66, admitted to using the N-word and wanting black waiters to play the role of slaves at a wedding party she was putting together, a new bombshell report from the National Enquirer claims.

“The personal disclosures uncovered have stunned Paula’s family and could mark the collapse of her entire empire,” a source told the tabloid.[source

To be fair, Paula – of course – “does not condone use of the N-word” (because, duh, destruction of her empire!):

USA TODAY asked Deen’s rep for comment, and her lawyer, Bill Franklin, issued a statement: “Contrary to media reports. Ms. Deen does not condone or find the use of racial epithets acceptable. She is looking forward to her day in court.”

and – gasp – she even has “acceptable” excuses:

[…]according to the deposition, one exchange went like this:

Lawyer: “Have you ever used the N-word yourself?”
Paula: “Yes, of course.”

Lawyer: “Okay. In what context?”
Paula: “Well, it was probably when a black man burst into the bank that I was working at and put a gun to my head.”

(Sidenote — Paula was held up at gunpoint during a bank robbery in 1986.)

It’s really nice to try to garner sympathy for your racism in a court case for, um… racism, with a sympathetic dog-whistling-ass story about how the evil Black man who held you up in a bank robbery ruined it for everyone else, and he’s the real reason why you use the N-word with impunity as opposed to you using critical thinking and realizing that bad people come in all races… but I’m not here for it.

To be honest, I’ve never been here for Paula, but I can be fair when it’s necessary. It ain’t necessary right now.

I wouldn’t even be surprised if her lawyer engineered that response to garner sympathy. The case is going down in Georgia, which – no shade, my family’s from Selma… civil rights Selma, at that – isn’t known for its tolerance… if her lawyers believed she would be asked about her racism in a racist environment, then telling other people who are likely to be racists… you get the picture.

Those of us who remember when the original lawsuit dropped, will recall the reports which all said the following:

A shocking racial slur against President Barack Obama is just one of the many explosive allegations in a bombshell lawsuit against celebrity chef Paula Deen and her brother, Bubba Hiers.

The lawsuit was filed Monday in Georgia on behalf of Lisa Jackson, a past employee of Paula Deen Enterprises.

Among the stunning allegations in the lawsuit: “In the presence of Ms. Jackson and Uncle Bubba’s restaurant manager and a vendor, Bubba Hiers stated they should send President Obama to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico so he could n***er-rig it.”

The lawsuit also claims that Deen herself used the N word in front of employees.

According to the court documents, Jackson states that she was appointed by Deen to handle the catering and staff for Bubba’s wedding in 2007, and she asked Deen what the servers should wear: “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 alleges 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.”

The documents state that Jackson became the General Manager of Bubba’s Oyster and Seafood House in Savannah, Georgia, which is co-owned by Deen and Bubba, after the previous GM, who was male, was fired for having sexual relations with the servers. Deen allegedly said in a meeting in which Jackson was present, “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.”

Jackson was given six months to turn the restaurant from a failure into a success and she did so, by doubling the profits of the restaurant, but she alleges she was sexually harassed by Deen’s brother, who, amongst other accusations, routinely viewed pornography on a computer in a small office he shared with Jackson. “Bubba Hiers is a frequent customer of pornography web sites and would download and view such sites at work. In the small office he shared with Jackson, it was impossible for her to avoid the pornography,” the lawsuit states. [[source]

You can read the full case brought against her and her brother here.

Listen. That woman’s a scumbag. A well-marketed, business-savvy scumbag, but a scumbag nonetheless.

…and twitter – oh, how I love you, twitter – had quite a ball exploiting the situation. And lots of news outlets had a ball exploiting the clever, well-crafted tweets ridiculing Paula and her apparent ability to be a racist scumbag with impunity. (That’s an entirely different rant for an entirely different day, though.)

What do you think? Raise your hand if you’re genuinely surprised by all this… and keep them high, so that I know who to sell this bridge out in Brooklyn.

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Milaxx June 20, 2013 - 12:14 PM

Never liked Paula. I always thought her food looked disgusting. I even tried some of her mac and cheese and yes, it is indeed nasty. That aside, I always felt her down home Southern shtick came across as fake. I really disliked her when the whole diabetes thing came out and this does nothing but make me dislike her more.

Kitana June 20, 2013 - 12:23 PM

Racism is so exhausting that I’m too damn tired of it all to be mad about this. It’s just… sickening, really.

April Lambert June 20, 2013 - 12:36 PM

I’m not surprised. I’m from Georgia and my husband is a former employee of Paula Deen’s restaurant, Lady and Sons. He would always tell me how racist she was and how the staff was treated. All that sugary sweetness make me want to yark!

Bethany June 20, 2013 - 12:42 PM

I have never known anything about Paula Deen except that she was a chef with a show. Am I surprised racism is still in America? No. Is it sad that racism still exists in 2013? Yes. Here’s the thing, we focus way too much on race. We are all human and that’s the only thing that matters. No one is better than the next person. The good, the bad, and the ugly exists in ever country, race, religion,etc. Paula Deen should not generalize the black race for that one experience she’s had. I’m sure it was a scary situation however that is not every black man. We are too consumed by the stereotypes portrayed by the media and ignorant society. I had a conversation once with an acquaintance about how I liked black men (I’m an American Cuban-Dominican). Even though my husband is a white Cuban. She stated something to the effect of “Why, they’re ghetto?” I looked at her like she was an idiot, because she was. I told her I don’t like anyone who is uneducated. It doesn’t matter if they’re White, Black, Asian, etc. I just happen to prefer dark men. it doesn’t mean I want to date rappers or thugs. People are so blinded by their ignorance it’s ridiculous.

Erika Nicole Kendall June 20, 2013 - 4:22 PM

“Here’s the thing, we focus way too much on race.”

I wish people would spend their time spitting this stupid to the actual people spouting racial epithets, instead of telling the people who rail against it.

Bethany June 21, 2013 - 12:23 PM

I meant we, in society as a whole. I don’t even identify with one race. I am a brown skin Latina. I don’t agree with labeling myself white or black. I have Indigenous, European, and African roots. We all have a role to play in society to teach others about diversity. It’s my job as a parent to expose my child to different cultures. I can recount an experience I had at my first job, one of the managers said “Bethany, you’re not like the other Spanish girls I know” (insert eyeroll) I’ve heard that plenty of times from not just non-Latinos. There is an idea that if you speak eloquently and that you take pride in the way you present yourself, you are “White”, that is a perspective I am trying to change among those I encounter.

Ceej June 23, 2013 - 2:02 PM

I am never surprised when people are racist. I am always surprised when people are CAUGHT being racist.

Durkia June 20, 2013 - 12:57 PM

I started giving Paula the side eye when she made that sandwich with the krispy kreme donuts as bread. I could never look at her the same and now this adds on to my dislike for her.

Candy June 21, 2013 - 9:07 AM

She sure did!!! lol!!! I forgot about that. She was trying to kill us.

Robin June 20, 2013 - 1:06 PM

I used to watch her show and thought she was down-to-earth. Then she had the Neely’s on; I guess she was supposed to be introducing them before their new show started on the Food Network. I had a feeling then that she was racist just by the way she kept looking at Gina Neely when she was making her dishes. And the way she was talking to her. It was strange, and I stopped watching her show that day.

Nika June 20, 2013 - 1:25 PM

I wonder if Gordan Ramsay will invite her back to Master Chef????

Msladee June 20, 2013 - 2:12 PM

My first thought when I heard the story was why didn’t she settle last year and have the records sealed. I mean, I sadly expect her to be racist, but I didn’t expect her business savvy to wane on the foresight of this getting out. She has a restaurant at a casino in Tunica, MS. I know she will be missing a lot of business from black Memphians/ Mississippians that make the trip down there to play the slots.

Michelle June 20, 2013 - 2:58 PM

Of course I’m not surprised. I’m from the south and it’s all up and through here. I’m glad a light was shed on her true character.

Nicole Anderson June 20, 2013 - 3:06 PM

No Surprised, but dissappointed, I was a fan of her cooking show. I have bought at least two of her cookbooks, but in the back of my mind I knew one day she was going to f-up and call someone the n-word…………………I knew it and this day has surely come.

Erika June 20, 2013 - 4:15 PM

Not surprised by it at all. I don’t know where some people are saying racism is dead or in the past. Because as of lately, seems like we’ve been drowning in a sea of racism. Especially since the president has been in office. Racists are not that quiet shameful shadow in the dark anymore. I guess negative marketing is better than no marketing.

Deb Bailey June 20, 2013 - 4:18 PM

Surprising? Not really considering the source. But since the diabetes thing, I’ve been giving her the side eye.

I read some of the complaint and it’s totally foul. So if everything in it is true, she (and her family) are perpetuating their own version of The Help 2013. But Black Twitter responded and dragged her through the streets of Twitter all day long. And I’m here for it.

Oh, and the best tweets can be found here: http://www.awesomelyluvvie.com/2013/06/paulasbestdishes-best-twitter-hashtag.html

Kenya June 20, 2013 - 4:37 PM

I really liked Paula Deen I have followed her career & was really amazed at her accomplisents. This sickens me to my heart, here I am teaching my children not to dislike anyone because of their differences and she makes MILLIONS off of a mixing pot of humans. Such graditude but coming from the south what do you expect they are one tracked mind individauls and I pray that her sons & grandchildren are’nt such HATE GORILLAS! Remember the N word was used to describe an ignorant uneducated man/ woman. WELL WE ALL KNOW NOW WHO THOSE ARE!!! You only carry dislike or hate gor what you want to be….. SAD I wonder how Oprah feels about this?

Kitty June 20, 2013 - 5:30 PM

I’m white and from the UK, where this woman is barely known, and I find her comments profoundly ugly and shocking. I can’t rely on any public image she has to soften the blow or mitigate her comments, because as far as I’m concerned, she’s just another woman. It’s frightening that some people still think like this, and I bet most of them don’t put their head over the parapet like this either. What a spiteful, hateful woman. Looks like karma is coming her way though.

Carmen June 20, 2013 - 7:45 PM

This is not a surprise, but sadly it will be swept under the rug. Ms.Deen will continue to grow her massive empire because the color of her skin. Sadly, racism will never end. Maybe someone will start a petition to get her off television, but let’s not get our hopes up…Don Imus still has his show.

Stephanie June 20, 2013 - 8:19 PM

As a white girl from Georgia, I can assure you this is not the norm. Neither my family nor I have ever used that word. I’ve never liked her, she is obnoxious and says shit that is stupid and disrespectful…i.e., “that is so good it will make you want to slap your mama”! So it is no surprise to me that she uses the N-word but please don’t think all white people from the South are like this….

Cherished131 June 20, 2013 - 8:32 PM

Reading the side note. 1986 was not that long ago. I read your blog on her and diabetes yesterday for the first time. She looses with this one. I think she thinks she is going to win this case. Looking forward to the upcoming Oprah interview after the trail is over.

Ms. Jackson is going to get paid and all the staff that had to endure will have a quiet celebration.

sharon June 20, 2013 - 10:48 PM

We all need to wake up and realize the south was always known for racism. We have tv shoes on now like duck dynasty, swamp people, rajun cajuns, etc. Think about it do the math.

Dana June 21, 2013 - 9:00 AM

I am a white southern redneck, play in the mud kinda woman…. but I love all people… God made all of us beautiful and to say “think about it” about the rednecks like duck dynasty, well that just shows as much ignorance as Paula Deen.. Just because I’m southern doesn’t mean I’m racist… I have a lot of black friends and I love them because of who they are not their skin…

darlooney June 20, 2013 - 11:03 PM

As an afro-latina who grew up in Utah where my perspective is that people are more likely to persecute you for your religion (who cares?) than your race; I have been fairly shielded from racism. In that light, I was really shocked at seeing this on your facebook post today. I’m sympathetic to the her trauma in the bank holdup from back in the day, but I’m not naive enough to actually believe that her racism began then. Bologna! I’m certainly not naive enough to believe what she is implying–that this was this only time she used the word. When you are in the spotlight, you’d better watch your behind! If that’s how you feel–that’s your problem, but you should keep your disgusting thoughts to yourself. I won’t be sad at all when her empire comes crashing down. She’s clearly been making this bed for years.

Angie June 21, 2013 - 11:22 AM

I wouldn’t say that I am surprised, but I am definitely hurt and disappointed. I like the personality that she portrays, and I didn’t think about who she really was, and frankly, I didn’t even care. But now it is impossible to ignore, and I have no more interest in patronizing her in any way.

kami June 21, 2013 - 11:56 AM

Hey Erika,
I was hoping that you would post this article about her ignorance. Paula Deen is already marketing unhealthy recipes and was trying to hide her diabetes in the process. Paula’s excuse for using nigger is because she was robbed by a black person but at the same time it does not give her a right to treat her employees like slaves or verbally abuse them. Paula Deen and her family are all scumbags. I hope oprah does not give her an interview.
This bothers me about all people. People should judge people by their character not the color of their skin. I will not stand for hate.

Jayde June 21, 2013 - 2:43 PM

Poor Paula Deen! The part that got me was the “Of course” comment as if it was OK to say such things. I am not even going to defend her because of the situation she said that she was in. I hope my Mama stop cooking her stuff for awhile. Im done lol

Daree June 21, 2013 - 7:56 PM

I guess I’m the lone naive one here. I had no idea and have always like Paula and her sons. I live in GA and took a trip to visit her’s and Bubba’s restaurants last summer. Sad.

Bezzymates June 21, 2013 - 10:16 PM

Redneck that got lucky. Can’t take the redneck outta the girl. No matter what network,food, BBC, NBC,CNN. True colors never fade with marketing wash.

Callie June 22, 2013 - 9:30 AM

Why am I the only one that doesn’t believe Paula Deen is telling the truth about being held up in a bank by a black bank robber. I’m sorry, but didn’t she become agoraphobic and couldn’t leave the house for years because of the double loss of her parents (a murder/suicide, if I’m not mistaken). And her husband was the sole bread winner for years, and she had to send out her sons to deliver food from her house, because she was too scared to leave home…wasn’ t that the story she was sporting years back. She never mentioned the bank robbery, ever,. as being traumatized…but then again, I never read her autobiography.

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