Celebrity chef Paula Deen claims she’s not a racist, but the The Food Network made the right decision by quickly dumping Deen for hateful racial remarks about African Americans.

Deen is accused of using the N-word as part of a $1.2 million harassment lawsuit brought by a white former employee, Lisa Jackson, who alleges Deen routinely exposed her to sexual harassment and racist slurs, including a party-planning meeting during which Deen reportedly said:

“What I would really like is a bunch of little n******s to wear long-sleeve white shirts, black shorts and black bow ties. Now, that would be a true Southern wedding, wouldn’t it?”

It sounds pretty racist to me, although Deen, a self-described Southern-style cook, released an apologetic video last week asking her fans to show her some mercy and explaining that she’s not a racist person.

But during the course of the deposition, Deen, 66, said that “of course” she had used the N-word to describe black people — but stressed that it had been long ago. Jackson said Deen frequently cracked racist jokes in Deen’s restautant, Uncle Bubba’s Seafood and Oyster House in Savannah, Ga.

“It’s just what they are — they’re jokes … most jokes are about Jewish people, rednecks, black folks … gays or straights, black, redneck, you know, I just don’t know — I just don’t know what to say,” Deen said. “I  can’t, myself, determine what offends another person.”

As I listened to Deen’s tired explanation for using the N-word, I wondered what Oprah Winfrey thought of Deen’s racist remarks.

Oprah and sidekick Gayle King visited Deen’s house last year, dined in her home, played on Deen’s backyard swing and kicked it with Deen during an exclusive interview on Oprah’s OWN network.

I wasn’t alone.

“Oprah, believe it or not, is the first person I thought about when I heard this statement,” Wendy Williams, the outspoken talk show host, told Entertainment Tonight. “I said ‘I wonder if her black friend Oprah knows about this statement?’ I wonder if Oprah’s been privy in person to hear Paula use this and if she’s ever talked to Paula about it… I’m done with Paula Deen.”

“This is something that has been swirling around about Paula Deen for longer than this story,” Williams said. “It’s just a shame to hear that she has admitted in her deposition that she uses the word and that she freely throws around racist jokes.”

“She seems to think that it’s OK. It’s not OK. It just goes to show you money doesn’t buy you class, it only exposes who you really are,” she added. “Stupid is as stupid does.”

Deen’s attorney tried to explain away Deen’s use of the N-word saying her comments were used during a time of segregation when blacks and whites used separate bathrooms and drank from separate water fountains.

So that makes Deen’s racist comments acceptable? Is this the so-called post-racial America we’re experiencing after the historic election of President Barack Obama?

It appears that Deen has made a fortune while privately cracking racist jokes. Between her TV work, speaking engagements, cookbooks, licensing and endorsements, Forbes estimates her wealth at $17 million. Network sources said she was paid between $10,000 and $20,000 for each episode of her various shows.

But here’s my problem with Deen: She gets caught using the N-word, refuses to take ownership of her racist ways, and suddenly blames the media. How is this the media’s fault?

“I want people to understand that my family and I are not the kind of people that the press is wanting to say we are,” Deen says in the video. “Your color of your skin, your religion, your sexual preference does not matter to me.”

Deen explained it’s “what’s in the heart” that matters. “And my family and I try to live by that,” Deen said. “And I am here to say I am so sorry. I was wrong.”

Before releasing her video, Deen canceled an appearance last week on NBC’s “Today Show” citing exhaustion.

Really? Perhaps she’s just tired of all the scrutiny.

I’m not buying Deen’s lame apology and, thankfully, neither is The Food Network. Stick a fork in her, Deen is done – at least for now.

(Photo: PRPhotos)

13 thoughts on “COMMENTARY: Stick a Fork in Paula Deen, She’s Done

  1. obviously like your website but you should examine the punctuation with several of your respective discussions. Some of options filled together with punctuational troubles i to get it very troublesome to inform the fact nonetheless I’ll undoubtedly keep coming back once again.

  2. Vicki on said:

    Paula did not use best practice in handling her brother and her executive staff when the allegations were presented to her numerous times (reportedly). She should have fired her brother and saved her company. The complaint filed has an abundant claims of blatant misconduct from Bubba, Mr Schumaucher and Mr Garard. Not to mention Ms Fueger. They should all be fired for not handling this properly. The complaint is in PDF form on the internet under Chattam County courts.

  3. A week later and people are still trippin’ on the Deen saga. Meanwhile VOTING RIGHTS are slowly being taken away. Folks need to be paying attention to important things (that really matter). In the bigger realms of things Paula doesn’t mean jack S!! She’s not the first, and won’t be the last person that uses the N word. After all rappers, and lots of young kids (black white, and yellow) use it everyday

  4. Ivan Cohen on said:

    She (Paula) also did not help her situation when she referred to a black employee as “my little monkey.” This woman needs to be banned from kitchens.

  5. Melissa on said:

    I am Black and I don’t use the N word but there are Blacks who do. There are various ethnic groups who use derogatory slurs amongst themselves but if you are not part of that group you can’t. Paula Dean is 66 and old enough to know better.

  6. She deserves to be sued by the employee for her harassment, but unless she actually used slurs on her show, I don’t see why Food Network had to cancel her. Her problem is between her and the men and women she actually harmed.

    • Will on said:

      They didn’t renew her contract! The reason for the non-renewal is simple….MONEY!!!! I’m sure sponsors didn’t want their names associated with her programming and thus voiced their concerns to the Food Network.

  7. Wendy Williams: “She seems to think that it’s OK. It’s not OK. It just goes to show you money doesn’t buy you class, it only exposes who you really are,” she added. “Stupid is as stupid does.” Really, Wendy?!

  8. redbone1954 on said:

    Tami I was just about to say the same thing. She’s white she will not be unemplyed unless she wants to be. does not seem to be she will be in a soup line or homeless white people rarely are. all they do is recycle them somewhere else after all the hoopla wears down just like the NFL and the NBA they are never without a job very long

  9. Tami on said:

    She’ll be back on FM after making rounds on talk shows explaining her actions. Thus is temporary. She’s white.

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