Reverend Al Sharpton chimed in with what seemed like a statement to defend the controversy surrounding Paula Deen.
As we all know, Deen is currently under fire from the media for her admitted use of a racial epithet. And defending her is not a good look … as far as the black community, for the most part, is concerned.
Sharpton’s spokesperson, Rachel Noerdlinger, reached out to The Huffington Post and said her client did not defend Paula Deen, but rather made the point that Deen shouldn’t be judged by something she said 27 years ago.
“There is more current information that is being divulged that we might need to be concerned about,” Noerdlinger added.
This entire ordeal started when Lisa T. Jackson filed a lawsuit against Deen and her brother, Earl “Bubba” Hiers, last year. Jackson claims that as a manager at Deen’s Savannah, Ga. restaurant, she endured sexual harassment and racial discrimination.
During the trial’s deposition, Deen admitted to using the N-word in the past. She also confessed to having planned a “southern plantation-style wedding” with black servers. The deposition was released to the public and caused a series of backlash including Deen being fired by the Food Network and her deal with QVC in jeopardy.
TMZ caught up with Sharpton and asked for his opinion on the controversy.
“A lot of us have in the past said things we have regretted saying years ago,” he replied. “I think she has a lawsuit now about activities now whether it was discriminatory. And whether or not she’s engaged in things now. It’s not about her past. … She deserves what’s fair, but that’s based on what she’s engaged in now.”
“You cannot deal with what is fair or not fair until we see an outcome of the present circumstances she is accused of, not something that happened 20 years ago,” he added.
Sharpton’s spokesperson wanted to clarify that his statements were not in support but rather just to push for people to focus on the matters at hand that are more pressing.
As we reported, Bill Maher was another well-known figure to speak up on Paula Deen’s dilemma.
“If you’re 66 years old, and you were raised in Georgia, and you were a child before the civil rights movement, do you get a bit of a pass?” he asked on his show Friday, adding, “I also think that people shouldn’t have to lose their shows and go away when they do something bad. … It’s just a word; it’s a wrong word, she’s wrong to use it. But do we always have to make people go away?”
Pastor Gregory A. Tyson Sr., an African-American pastor at First Jerusalem Missionary Baptist Church in Savannah told the local radio station WTOC that Deen is a friend of his and the black community. He added that using the N-word does not automatically make her a racist.
Deen made a public apology following the aftermath of the testimony leak in a series of three videos. She asked for forgiveness while stating that the press is misjudging her and her family.
She is scheduled to make an appearance on the “Today” show Wednesday, where she will address the public again in an attempt to clear her name. This is her second attempt after missing the “Today” interview last Friday.
Fans used social media to express their distaste towards the Food Network for firing Paula Dean so abruptly, while others displayed their support by gathering at her Savannah restaurant.
2. Got so much work to do but I just wanna stay in bed and binge watch #Gameofthrones and start the new season of #OnceUponATime. I know I can't be the only one. Right? Ha 💤🦁🍂 #saturday
2 of 25
3. Mommy's weekend turn up ❤️👶🏾💕🍼 Wouldn't trade it for nothing. #TeamNoSleep lol #HesMyBiggestBlessing ✨
3 of 25
4. One of them oh shit mont we made it feelings … this shit still be unreal 💯💪🏾 @remyboymonty1738
4 of 25
5. Tickets Available October 14 @ticketmaster.
5 of 25
6. People magazine Home edition has raided my house! Get a sneak peek into the bedroom life of the Leakes and see other parts of my home now at PEOPLE.COM
6 of 25
7. They want to kick you when you down, but kick it when you up
7 of 25
8. Got my advance copy of #Mafia3 at @gamestop. Get yours via link in the bio #Mafia3 #Ad
8 of 25
9. This is some of the cast and our diverse team of writers in the writer's room creating funny sh*t for @nbcmarlon what a fun room! Lots of jokes, great stories and having a great time doing what we love... making people laugh and feel something. Look out for our show next year @nbcmarlon we bringing sitcoms back to NBC
9 of 25
10. #HappySunday☀️Thank you @4everbrandy101 💛💡💛
10 of 25
11. Happy to be back in Central Falls, RI breaking ground for the One Stop Health Center and hosting a local community event with #Vaseline.
11 of 25
12. Thank you all in advance 💋💋💋 #Repost @urbansvintage・・・#TarajiPHenson's memoir #AroundTheWayGirl will be available everywhere TODAY October 11th! Will you be purchasing a copy? #UrbansVintage
12 of 25
13. Moms got my back
13 of 25
14. @galore dinner party glo ✨ thanks to @styledbygiigii
14 of 25
15. 🌹#ThisIsWhatTheTruthFeelsLikeTOUR #forevereve
15 of 25
16. Yes, all those videos I've been posting have led to this: the introduction of skincare to @TYRABeauty! This is the rundown on the new line:Years of research and beauty tips I live by led me to produce the most effective and delightful skincare out there. I'm all about taking really good care of my skin, so I can look like I'm aging in #TyraYears and go filter free on Instagram when I feel like it! Now, it's your turn. ✨My Mama always told me not to wash my face with just my hands. "Tyra, girl, you're just moving the dirt around!" And I've listened. First up is The Clean Machine.... ...a 3-in-1 foaming face wash that cleanses, removes makeup and purified your skin. It has patented technology - a attached Turbo Cleansing Tool - to give you that deep clean that makes your skin feel super fresh. Wanna know more? Yeah, baby. Click that link in my bio.