Will N-word, alleged make-believe slave wait staff suggestion turn you off Paula Deen?

Paula Deen is feeling some heat after testifying in a deposition that she has used the N-word. She is also accused of suggesting that her brother use an all-black wait staff at his wedding imitating “slaves” from Shirley Temple movies.

From the Associated Press:

“Deen’s racial statements came to light as part of a deposition in a lawsuit brought by a former manager of Uncle Bubba’s Seafood and Oyster House, who claimed to be sexually harassed and said the restaurant was rife with innuendo and racial slurs.

Deen was asked in the deposition whether she had ever used the N-word.

“Yes, of course,” Deen replied, though she added: “It’s been a very long time.”

The chef’s representatives issued a statement Thursday saying that it was a different time when Deen admitted using the N-word, and she does not condone its use today.

“She was born 60 years ago when America’s South had schools that were segregated, different bathrooms, different restaurants and Americans rode in different parts of the bus,” the statement said. “This is not today.”

From MSNBC:

“(the former restaurant manager Lisa) Jackson subsequently asked Deen what type of uniforms she preferred the servers to wear.

“Well what I would really like is a bunch of little n—–s 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.” Paula Deen laughed and said “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.”

“Deen responded to Jackson’s allegations.

“I remember telling them about a restaurant that my husband and I had recently visited. And I’m wanting to think it was in Tennessee or North Carolina or somewhere, and it was so impressive. The whole entire wait staff was middle-aged black men, and they had on beautiful white jackets with a black bow tie. I mean, it was really impressive. And I remember saying I would love to have servers like that, I said, but I would be afraid somebody would misinterpret.”

So the question is do these types of statements turn you off to Deen or is it like she says people just used to say the N-word in the South? Does it make it acceptable if it was in the past and part of the culture? How much responsibility do stars and their brands bear for past statements or racially insensitive remarks?

124 comments Add your comment

Momcat

June 20th, 2013
9:23 pm

Why is it ok for African Americans to call themselves that word?

Georgia

June 20th, 2013
9:28 pm

Don’t really care. I’ll still watch her show on occasion–not my favorite chef by a long shot in the first place.

HB

June 20th, 2013
9:32 pm

It was acceptable among whites her age in South Georgia when I was growing up in the 80s and part of the culture, and no, that does not excuse it. I think what’s going to hurt her brand is not so much what she said in the past (although how long ago was this wedding she was planning?) but that in her response, she seems to think it was alright and doesn’t seem to regret having said what she did. She seems to just be saying well I know better than to say that now so I don’t anymore. Like many people I know, she seems to be trying to move forward, but doesn’t truly get what was so terrible about the old ways. It sounds like still thinks the antebellum South was a lovely era and that minstrel-style performances are charming and she would host such parties if others wouldn’t “misinterpret” them as negative. That’s going to hurt a lot of people’s view of her, and of course, she and her brand bear full responsibility for that.

Ellen

June 20th, 2013
9:34 pm

She wanted a minstrel performance in 2007? That doesn’t sound like someone who is self-aware.

Oh lord

June 20th, 2013
9:40 pm

This should be a great conversation…

Patrick

June 20th, 2013
9:47 pm

Only the PC crowd and the liberal media are pushing this. If it was the other way around, nary a word would be mumbled. Hypocrisy is rampant in the two crowds I just mentioned.

Sam the Sham

June 20th, 2013
9:47 pm

These are comments made in a private conversations decades ago. I think the real story is of redemption and positive change. Haters are going to hate. Ye without sin cast the first stone.

basil

June 20th, 2013
9:51 pm

Race is not real. And whoever disagrees is not really educated or gets an ego trip thinking do. Ego trips aren’t real either.

basil

June 20th, 2013
9:59 pm

riddle: if you put bull and sh*t together do you get bullish*t? A racist sees race and gives it meaning.

Kar

June 20th, 2013
10:14 pm

I think she’s already given us enough reasons not to like her.

Mac

June 20th, 2013
10:14 pm

I always thought she was a clown, now I think she’s a pig, as well.

Caroline

June 20th, 2013
10:27 pm

I support Paula and her courage to admit using the ‘N’ word. As many have mentioned, the South was a different place years ago, and now we’re glad to have moved past that scarred history. But I do want to ask, ‘why is it ok for African Americans to use derogatory terms for whites – such as ‘cracker’ and ‘honkey’, but yet when a non-African American uses the ‘N’ word there is a huge outcry of racism. Hmmm..separate but not-equal?

Jim

June 20th, 2013
10:29 pm

I am sick and tired of the media and hypocrites making this an issue…get over it already…many continue to use this as leverage to try and intimidate when reverse discrimination is happening daily and not a word is mentioned…get a life…

Lee

June 20th, 2013
10:31 pm

The first thing Paula Deen needs to do is fire her lawyer for allowing a loaded question that has no relevance to the case to be asked.

Secondly, how is this even newsworthy? Someone used the n-word years ago. Oh my God! Hey, so did Slim Pickens in Blazing Saddles – and it’s just as funny now as it was then.

Blacks are laughing their ass off at silly, politically correct whites who get all bent out of shape over a word.

I love Paula Deen and this does nothing to change my opinion of her.

asv

June 20th, 2013
10:40 pm

I’m much more turned off by someone calling her column:MOMANIA, now THAT is pathetic….Pass the BBQ and Coke,Paula’s on the Food Channel and she’s cooking up some biscuits and grits///mmmm

Splavistic

June 20th, 2013
10:44 pm

I hope we’re getting to the last of this dying breed. Good riddance with your butter fat and fake Southern ‘charm’ which boils underneath with bitter hatred…as she has so adeptly shown.

JJ

June 20th, 2013
10:46 pm

WHY is okay for Kanye West or Jayz to use the word ALL the time, but this makes the news? Can anyone answer that???

Charles Wade

June 20th, 2013
10:57 pm

This is the biggest non-news story I’ve ever heard of in my life. Every person over the age of eight has said that word, black and white. Let it go and leave Paula alone y’all.

SJFN

June 20th, 2013
11:23 pm

Gweneth Paltrow used that word and the world jumped to her defense. I must have missed the faux outrage over her. Why is Paula any different? Wait, I know why it’s still acceptable to denigrate white southerns. Cracker and redneck are used and accepted like “an “and “the” in society and no one cares. .

Progress

June 20th, 2013
11:47 pm

Where’s jarvis? Doesn’t he live in Chatham County? He’s probably been expanding the size of his rear end eating Paula Dean’s cooking and refusing to tip Black waitresses his whole life.

concerned

June 20th, 2013
11:56 pm

So, can she take Mac to court for calling her a clown and pig!? The past is the past. If the South is so bad why is everyone moving down here? This world is focusing on the wrong issues. We have alot worse issues all around us than name calling. We do not need to be wasteing (our) tax dollars on name calling. Come on guys let’s refocus. Have a great week-end and smile from the heart. :)

Don

June 21st, 2013
12:02 am

Doesn’t turn me off at all. It’s ok for blacks to call themselves and other races names..but not ok for white people? Go F%ck yourselves!

BehindEnemyLines

June 21st, 2013
12:11 am

El Mongol

June 21st, 2013
12:13 am

At least she had enough integrity to own what she said. Too many folks (Bill Clinton) try to lie and twist the facts, but she had enough guts to simply admit the truth. Will it make a difference to me? No, I never watch her show, by her books or eat in her restaurant, so it won’t change my behavior at all.

Valerie

June 21st, 2013
2:06 am

I will not be eating at her establishments. I don’t want to be called that by her, any other white, or any black. I stay away from people like that, black, white, or any other color. She is just so blatant about her use of the word.

You can Run but You can't Hide

June 21st, 2013
2:53 am

Chances are that we’ve all said some things that we’re not proud of. However, when you know better you do better. Paula seems like she is just a plain ignorant southernbelle. And she ”Ain’t Gon Change Y’all”! As far as why blacks can use “N” word…..well we shouldn’t BUT we do. It’s like this I can talk about/complain about my mama all day….you understand? But your @ss better not! Why? Because you would be out of place, So the same thing applies to the “N” word…It’s an African American thing/slang and if it’s going to be used then yes we are the only ones that can use it because it’s not meant to be taken as derogatory when we say it. It would really be nice if no one said the “N” word. But white people stop asking why you can’t say “IT” (N WORD). YOU KNOW WHY!!! Stop playing like you don’t……

owlsharpton

June 21st, 2013
4:20 am

Nobody cares about this story, except chip on their shoulder liberals, and PMSNBC. Get a life

owlsharpton

June 21st, 2013
4:21 am

Enter your comments here

MUSTANG100

June 21st, 2013
4:54 am

To always @ 2:53am: How very N of you.

Cloudodust

June 21st, 2013
5:22 am

There’s mucho moolah to be made keeping this pot stirred up. Ironic that it comes from the kitchen of Paula Deen. Getting a kick out of the self rightous on board tossing sticks and stones…Dang, we were so much better off before the influx of Yankees migrated down here to ‘fix’ us.

Lib in Cobb

June 21st, 2013
5:40 am

Am I turned off by Deen’s comment? Yes. I was always turned off by her, now more than ever.

Fuzzy Zoeller lost a lot of money and respect when he made some very ugly remarks after Tiger Woods won The Masters for the first time.

It is my hope that Deen loses a great deal and most of all learns the lesson that it is no longer 1957 and the south will not rise again.

Lib in Cobb

June 21st, 2013
5:43 am

@cloud: Too many people in the south needed fixing. It is obvious that our work is not yet done.

Yankee lovin the south

June 21st, 2013
5:44 am

I still love her. She’s my hero – a person who pulled herself up by her bootstraps to become one of the most famous and beloved personalities of all time. She deserves praise and love not condemnation and hate.
All you folks who claim to be outraged are just jealous of her success. It’s sad that what made this country great – working hard to become successful – is met with such scorn.

seriously?

June 21st, 2013
5:55 am

all the people complaining that african americans can use the word or wondering why there’s no media blow up over use of the word cracker might need to crack a dictionary and look up the definition of ‘minority’. and also a history book. let me know when you get to the part where all the poor white people were owned as property, or where they were enshrined in US law as second class citizens.

JET

June 21st, 2013
6:00 am

C’mon now people. When was the last time you practiced your HS English. That word is just another synonym for Black, African American, Colored. None of these is intended to be a slur or racist. The word for “black” in Spanish is “Negro”, and in Italian, “Nero” . Any similarities there? We are a country of many nationalities, each with their own definition. Do we say they are all racist. Many Americans are of a lengthy heritage that always used this word without meaning anything other than to denote that the person was Black. If Blacks can use this word to describe themselves, then why can’t everyone else?

Florida GRIT

June 21st, 2013
6:48 am

I was turned off Paula Deen a few years ago when her staff was so rude to my husband and me. 11 a.m. on Sunday, about 300 people in line and they close at 5 p.m. They don’t take reservations. When my husband went to put our name on the list, the hostess told him in a very rude tone, “You aren’t gettting in today.” When you have 6 hours and about 300 people, how can you know that??? Even if so, why be so rude (hard to put in a typed message how rudely she said it)? I loved The Lady & Sons restaurant the two times I actually got to go there, but never again! I even went on the restaurant’s website and advised the management that their staff had been so rude and that they might want to work on that. No response at all – not from a manager, not from Paula or anyone. Horrible, horrible customer relations.

Mayhem

June 21st, 2013
6:50 am

I like Paula Dean, I have several of her cookbooks and record her shows daily. I have no problem with something she said years ago.

Who among us hasn’t used a racial slur at one point in their life?

This is probably going to get nasty, and I have tons of work to do today, so I will see you next week. Loved yesterday’s topic!!!

asv

June 21st, 2013
6:57 am

I’ll take a second helping, looks like a few people won’t come here anymore (touchy?), ..pass the butter, my cholesterol needs a bump…

CLOSE THE HIGHWAYS FROM DETROIT,CLEVELAND and NEW ORLEANS and let the “fixin” begin…no, not Chicago, those guys KNOW how to work….

lucky1

June 21st, 2013
7:01 am

Everyone gas used the N word.

cool and collected

June 21st, 2013
7:33 am

Black female here: NO ONE should use that word, that includes rappers, etc. It is a word of hate. Yes she’s a 60 y.o. southern White woman and that’s what she knows and grew up saying. Probably still says it. No surprise.

I won’t be turned off from Deen because I already don’t like her forced gooey-southern persona. Y…a…l…l.. Fake; and fake wigs. [I find Giada to be fake, too; that grinny smile annoys me.]

But question: I wonder if she’ll call Judy Smith to handle her crisis!!? LOL. Judy Smith is the D.C.-based Black female who handles many celebs crises and on whom the show ‘Scandal’ is themed.]

Mistress of the Obvious

June 21st, 2013
7:46 am

There is much, much more racism & bigotry in AJC “reporting” than there is in Paula Deen.

Um Cool & Collected

June 21st, 2013
7:47 am

Do you wear a weave? That’s like fake hair right? Not yours……..

And are your fingernails fake too?

My guess is you are slamming someone for doing the exact same thing you do!! I’m willing to bet you wear a weave and get your nails done weekly.

DB

June 21st, 2013
8:00 am

T, check the filters . . . mine got caught, and, given the topic, I suspect others probably have, too!

Jess

June 21st, 2013
8:04 am

White chick here…Cool and collected, I totally agree with you, and by the way I totally can’t stand Paula and Giada. I think that some people can smell the bull$h!* and those two are full of it! plus I can’t stand the fake hair either.

TheOracle

June 21st, 2013
8:07 am

Enter your comments hereFirst of all Deen’s food was unhealthy when she started out and after her health scare, its still unhealthy. Once all the old rank and file white sheets have died out the better.

Yankee lovin the south

June 21st, 2013
8:15 am

Wow! So judgmental! You don’t like the way she talks, you don’t like her hair, you don’t like her food…etc. Are you that critical of everyone? Do you have many friends? Why can’t we just accept people for the way they are. Nobody is perfect.

DB

June 21st, 2013
8:18 am

@TheOracle: Interesting that Paula Deen’s cooking is being denigrated so virtuously, when this is probably exactly how your mother and grandmother cooked, too.

Moderation in all things.

lucinda

June 21st, 2013
8:27 am

Paula seems to long for what she thinks are the “good old days” where “those” people “knew their place” and women waited for their men to get home so they could fetch slippers and a bourbon for them.

Sad, really. And pathetic.

FCM

June 21st, 2013
8:53 am

Paula’s brand is “classic southern.” Yes I think her brand will take a hit, but I think when this stops being in the paper it will rally back.

Media, much of hollywood, and a good bit of the world, still think southern means either of 2 things

1. Gone With the Wind/The Help

2. The Beverly Hillbillys

Liberal Hollywood goes to great lengths (Duck Dynesty, The Help, Honey Boo Boo) to perpetuate the sterotype.

If anything people are probably jealous that Paula Deen was able to capitalize on the sterotype to the extent she did. She was”a housewife from Albany, Georgia, with no formal training in food “(Cooking with Paula Deen , June 2006). She was a divorced woman raising her children. In the south, where she made her way, that was an uphill battle for sure! It was “just not done”.

Also if Paula had said she never used the word in her deposition it would have been purgery. IF she had EVER used the word she had to say yes to that question. The real question is when did she say it ….was in 1957 or 2012? Not because saying it in 1957 would make it better, nothing would make it a good thing to say, but because it is relevant to the charge against her.