Sunday Discussion: The Paula Deen Controversy


Geek Alabama Discussion

No doubt, Paula Deen is in a heaping of trouble.  Paula Deen has been accused of using racial language.  But this is not the first time she has been under some controversy.  Paula Deen has been dubbed as the queen of southern cooking.  She uses a lot of butter and unhealthy ingredients in her cooking.  This of course makes her dishes high in fat and calories.  For a few years, she hid the diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes.  And after she went public, many people called for Paula Deen to clean up her act of unhealthy cooking.  Also, working out a multimillion-dollar deal to be the spokeswoman for a pharmaceutical company and endorse the drug she is taking didn’t help things either.  Even Saturday Night Live got into the act.

Paula Deen’s spiral downhill got worse with a court deposition.  A former employee under Paula Deen’s restaurant, Uncle Bubba’s Seafood and Oyster House is suing saying she was sexually harassed and worked in a hostile environment rife with innuendo and racial slurs.  Paula Deen was questioned by an attorney and had many questions asked 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.”  I don’t know if this is true, but Dean also said 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.  Paula Deen said she quickly dismissed the idea.  This is Paula Deen’s apology video.

After watching the Paula Deen apology video, I really do feel bad for her.  You can see that she is emotional and very sorry for saying the racist language.  Sadly is was not enough for Food Network.  Food Network has now cancelled Paula Deen’s contract and will soon pull all Paula Deen cooking shows off of Food Network, Cooking Channel, and Great American Country.  Paula Deen’s deal with QVC, which markets and sells her cookware products, is also in jeopardy of being cancelled as well.  My opinion of all of this is I think this is an overreaction of Scripps Networks and Food Network.  Other stars on the network have also gotten in trouble but they still appear on Food Network.  Paula Deen should still appear as well.  Here is a Facebook fan page supporting Paula Deen.

https://www.facebook.com/WeSupportPaulaDean?ref=stream

And here is a petition to have Food Network bring back Paula Deen.

http://www.change.org/petitions/food-network-keep-paula-deen-on-food-network-and-renew-her-contract

Many fans of Paula Deen feels like Food Network have made a terrible decision.  The fans of Paula Deen have gone to the Food Network Facebook page and left some not so interesting comments.  Many fans are also threatening to quit watching Food Network and Cooking Channel unless Paula Deen is put back on the network.  This is not the first time Food Network has been in the hot seat.  Chef Robert Irvine lied about working as a White House Chef, but the network later restored him.  Chef Guy Fieri has many critics who attacked his Times Square restaurant with a very bad review.  It sounds like Food Network needs to gather all of their stars and sit down to find out if the stars have anything hidden that could cause controversy.  How much more controversy could Food Network handle before the heat gets too much in the kitchen?

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For the people who believes that Paula Deen has caused hate to them.  What could Paula Deen do to correct her mistakes?  I am going to throw out a few ideas.  I think Paula Deen could donate some of her money to charities that helps other people in the poorer communities.  In the south, poor communities are often associated with minorities like black and Hispanic.  Paula Deen could help build a new school, soup kitchen, playground, or community center.  Yes, this is something very doable.  Paula Deen could also speak to groups that helps promote people in the minority community.  She could also help poorer people with their cooking skills.  I believe Paula Deen could help teach valuable cooking skills to people who need them.

In my opinion, there is still racism going on in the south even today.  No, not all racism is about the color of your skin.  Racism today involves some people’s opinions about homosexuality or being gay.  I have talked to several people who are often picked on and singled out in Alabama just because some people view them as being gay.  Racism today also involves people’s disabilities.  I know of some people who have physical and mental disabilities that are also singled out by some people in the south.  Sometimes I hear some people saying that the only people with disabilities who gets any attention are people from the military.  That could be true, I do have Asperger’s Syndrome (Autism) and at times I do feel like I am singled out in society in Alabama.

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Paula Deen will be back on the TV screen very soon.  The only reason why Food Network dropped her is because they don’t want to be accused of promoting a person of hate.  The networks where Paula Deen could end up are the Oprah Winfrey Network, Hallmark Channel, or even PBS.  No, I don’t think Fox News is going to start doing a cooking show like CNN is doing with Anthony Bourdain.  Paula Deen will learn to correct her mistakes in life just like all of us.  We all make mistakes in life!  But you can also come back to correct those mistakes in life and be stronger than ever!  Paula Deen will come back and be stronger from this episode in her life, just watch it!

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Many fans are now calling for The Food Channel (not affiliated with Food Network) to partner with Paula Deen.  Learn more about The Food Channel at: http://www.foodchannel.com/

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