Not that anyone cares, but here’s my simple take on Paula Deen. The Food Network thought she was played out. Partially, probably, because the diabetes scandal had exposed her and drawn ridicule. And partially because, well, that’s what happens in Hollywood and, I guess, America. Stars have a run, but eventually it gets old. Food Network took the opportunity when it arose, and used it as an excuse to dump Paula. I don’t necessarily disagree with this. It’s business. Paula should have said, “I respect that my time at Food Network has lapsed. I apologize for my misconstrued and disrespectful views in the past, and assure you those are not my views now.” And moved on. She has a bajillion dollars. Why does she care what the American public thinks?
But, alas, her reaction and the public’s over-reaction, making it political, as usual, has turned bad into worse. Corporations with Paula Deen lines of products are dumping her publicly. Whereas if she’d kept her composure, sure those endorsements would have dropped, eventually, assuming the demand for her products naturally dropped. But this is a mess.
I grew up in the Midwest with inarguably racist people. But as a child, I have had my share of racial slurs (for many races). Much like it used to be cool to say, “That’s so gay.” You don’t realize it’s hurtful, or if you do, it’s “cool.” As sad as that is. I realized the error of my ways for racism stuff in middle school (decidedly too late), but honestly didn’t stop saying some of the homophobic stuff until later in high school. In that case, I was saying, “That’s so gay” and probably not realizing what I was saying.
Deen is in her 60s or 70s, though. So to imagine her using these racial slurs in her 30s or 40s is a little out of character. Especially since 30 years ago was the 80s. It’s not like it was the 40s or 50s. I realize the south is a different world, but I think that’s why it’s shocking. Deen was well into adulthood, and past the equal rights movements and into the 80s. She should have been doing coke like everyone else.
So, long story short, I think Food Network used this old story to do what they already planned to do. It was convenient. Deen handled it badly (30 years ago and now). And, honestly, what’s the big deal? Deen should take her deep pockets and slink off into the thick air that is the south in the summertime. It’s not like we don’t know what butter is without her. Or don’t know how to google the types of foods she cooks. We can go on without her show, without her pots and pans, and without her drawl. No one was persecuted. And it’s a lot bigger deal than it ever should have been.
Am I right, y’all?