I can’t say I am surprised Paula Dean was dropped by the Food Network. I thought she was over when she lied about having diabetes for three years, while presenting her over the top fatty and sugary food. She then announced that she will be the spokes person for a diabetes drug.
Her new scandal, she said the N-word and then somehow tried to justify it. I am not sure the advise her handlers gave her, but I assume it should have been to say, “I AM SORRY” as big and as sincere, and to as many people who will listen. Just say “I am sorry” and repeat it a million times.
And you have to mean it and you have to change your ways and be a model of good behavior.
But Dean did none of that. Instead she held this out until court and put herself on the record about saying the N-word and upped the ante by implying she also says other off color joke about other groups.
She also stated that “most jokes” are about Jews, gay people, black people and “rednecks.”
I am not sure where this was coming from with Dean. Did she think that she is a redneck, so this is all OK?
But lets not forget how this all started.
…not only did Deen admit to using the n-word, but also making anti-Semitic, racist and homophobic jokes, as well as having planned a “southern style wedding” in which she hired black waiters to take on the appearance of slaves
She was supposed to come on the Today Show to explain herself, but cancelled, which sent the message that she either could not really explain her behavior or she did not have the courage to answer potentially tough questions.
Will she make a come back? Will her supporters say the folks who agree that most JOKES are about those OTHER PEOPLE who are Black, Jewish, Gay or Redneck, give her another chance?
Will the PR wing of her empire do their magic and keep the Paula Dean “Gravy Train” rolling?
I’ll be curious to see this play out. Food Network dumped her, but she also has a magazine with a million subscribers, cookbooks, endorsements, restaurants etc….
I can’t imagine advertisers be excited to support a magazine with her picture on the cover especially if boycotts are started against the advertisers and products in protest.
Also foodie tourists to Savannah who were once excited to go to Dean’s restaurant will avoid it especially Northerners.
I love Savannah. And I Love the South, which is not a given for a suburban Jewish kid from New Jersey. Yes, a Jew who is among the four groups of people who all jokes are about according to Deen.
When I was in Savannah last, I met a group of folks from New York who were doing a food tour of the town. They had stopped at this cupcake place, Back in the Day, the best cupcakes in the world.
There was a sign picture of Paula Deen on the wall of the place.
The food tour stopped at Paula Deen’s.
Seeing these folks gave me the impression that the New South had arrived if New York City Jews were now flocking their for tourism, that the old racist South persona had finally faded away and we Northerners could embraces our Southern brothers around a plate of ribs and corn bread.
In no small part Paula Deen had lead the charge that the South was friendly and welcoming and that food brings folks together. Diabetes be damn, pass me another red velvet cupcake please!!!!
The irony here is that Dean who is known for her over the top friendly Southern hospitality and an ambassador for the South, the New South is now the face of old school Southern racism.
No one knows how this will play out. Maybe enough people who either buy her apology or side with her off color humor/attitude, to keep her food empire going.
Or Maybe not.
Maybe America and the South deserves another cook to represent them. Maybe the Food Network can build up another Southern Chef who does not make off colored jokes about slaves and the old South.
Southern American food (and food in general) is supposed to bring people together.
Maybe the Lee Brothers