Have you been following the Paula Deen story for the past week? I’ve been shocked, horrified, and sad by the whole saga. For those of you who haven’t followed it, here’s a very brief recap. Paula and her brother are being sued by a former employee. Last week they had depositions, during which Paula admitted to using the “N” word, planning an event that had African American servers as “slaves,” and referring to an underage female employee in, well, vulgar terms.
Paula then attempted to do damage control. She scheduled a sit-down with Matt Lauer on the ‘Today’ show for last Friday, only to cancel at the last minute. Then Paula taped two apologies. The first apology was an edited mess. The second apology was better but not good enough. The Food Network announced late Friday afternoon they were dropping her shows. Execs reportedly blame Paula’s PR team for botching their handling of this fiasco so badly. Paula’s other deals (with QVC, Random House, etc) are up in the air. USA Today checked in with some high-powered publicists. One said Paula may get another show later, once time has passed. Another said he was “not optimistic.”
People really seem divided about this. Personally, I found her comments offensive. She grew up in the south in a very different time, and may have changed her views on race, but I’m not sold. Paula could just be a rather crass and clueless but not malicious. I’ve been on the fence about her ever since the diabetes announcement, however. What do you think: is Paula’s career over?
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