Is Paula Deen's firing from Food Network too severe?
As a nation, we've been asked to forgive lots of things: Bill Clinton's inappropriate behavior in the Oval Office, Anthony Weiner's and Mark Sanders' infidelity, Reece Witherspoon's disorderly conduct, Chris Brown's abusive behavior, and of course, Michael Vick's dog fighting.
Being a racist is bad but should be covered under our !st Amendment rights, shouldn't it? Why is this such an unforgivable sin?
I think our country has gone nuts with everyone trying to be politically correct. Racism is a horrible thing but frankly in this case I think people have overreacted. I am no Paula Deen fan but I think this has just gone too far.
Is there any one of us who has lived to adulthood that hasn't said or done something totally inappropriate that we thoroughly regret? No, I am not condoning racism but I think everyone has gone off the map with this PC stuff.
http://www.tmz.com/2013/06/22/paula-dee … ullwrapper
If you haven't seen this. It's all so odd. I would also check out the deposition. It's not about being PC. It's deeper than that.
At first I also gave her the benefit of the doubt and I'm all for calling it like you see it but this is clearly racist and occurred last year, not decades ago. huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/21/paula-deen-racism_n_3480720.html
Her behavior such as saying racial insensitive things, accepting her brother's sexually abusive behavior in the workplace and sexually illicit behavior at corporate sponsored events can indeed be forgiven by America as a whole.
Your initial question about her firing, on the other hand? No. Her firing isn't too severe. To make a long story short. Her language in the deposition (and if you get a change to read it, it is hilarious in the same way as watching a stupid person repeatedly stepping on a rake and getting bashed in the head) is too over the top. She had an opportunity to talk to Matt Lauer and smooth things over, but she didn't. The Food Network is all about brands and her brand is poison right now. It doesn't mean that it will stay that way forever, look at Robert Irvine who lied about his resume, but for now she's a goner. Money talks and if the Food Network can show all of their advertisers they are not tolerant of this sort of behavior, they will keep all of their advertisers. That is the point in the end. Money.
If they can find someone to fill her niche like one of her sons (she has two that the Food Network still employ) all is well. That's also probably why she thanked the network instead of bashing them for firing her.
What she needs is a good PR person. And to use half her brain.
The word she used alone is enough for her to be fired. America may forgive her for that, but the Food Network really had no choice. However, that is the least of her concerns. The allegations against her brother (and other management) portrays an environment of nearly constant racism, sexism, abuse, and sexual harassment, all of which Paula Deen and her corporate management were allegedly aware of. We will have to wait and see if Ms. Jackson can substantiate her claims, but if she can, Deen and company are unforgivable.
And as for the word, it is useful to put it into context. The full alleged quote by Deen was this:
"Well what I would really like is a bunch of little n***ers 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… 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."
There are also accusations of a General manager calling the kitchen staff "monkeys" as well as alleged policies that African American staff could not work in the front, had to use the rear entrance to enter the restaurant, and couldn't use restrooms that were available to white staff.
And that's without getting into the alleged sexual harassment which, if accurate, are also deplorable.
I don't think so. Had she worked in an office as a supervisor and a similar incident occurred- she would've been out the same day as it happened.
Racism to me is not so much as a sin as it is a sickness. But there are ways to actively and consciously do better. But to allow yourself to participate in a behavior that actively perpetuates what so many have rallied against is unforgivable.
Charlton Heston said it best. He said," Political correctness is nothing more than a violation of your right of free speech." But since correctness exists, why not for everyone? She said the N word and got fired for it. Yet I just stood behind 2 black guys at the gas station and they loudly called each other n-----s no less than 10 times before leaving the check out. In public, especially, this shouldn't be acceptable from anyone. If I would have said it, I'd have been thrown out. How appropriate would it be for me to call my friend white trash in a public setting? It wouldn't be tolerated. Nor should it be.
Using that word does not automatically make a person a racist. Sure, it's very bad taste, but doesn't mean that person hates a complete race.
This is another case of people being over-sensitive or just looking to make a mountain out of a mole hill.
If it weren't for media hype and a few over zealous lawyers, do you really think the Food Channel would have fired someone that popular for that reason? I doubt it.
I saw Paula apologize and ask for forgiveness on national news. I think that was commendable. However, I would have fired her for other reasons... like promoting awful recipes that will give a person a heart attack, such as the "Heart Attack Sandwich" where bread was replaced by glazed donuts and a burger, fried egg, and bacon were squished in-between. Disgusting!
Have you not seen the new Wendy's pretzel burger? I hear it has 680 calories!
Dang, I never tried fried eggs on my burger; thanks for the cooking tips!
my_girl_sara, I have not seen the new Wendy's pretzel burger. I'm sure it's a take off from Paula's donut burger. It's sick what these celebrity chefs and restaurants promote. They obviously don't care to encourage a healthy lifestyle. Only $ matter.
Yes, an apology should count for something, although it was probably prompted.
This is truly a great question but has many layers as with most ignorant heated discussions there exist a small for m of hypocrisy. I personaly think Paula Dean spoke the truth and should've been fired for being stupid and southern lol! All jokes aside I think the word itself is historical and filled with pain. Many caucasians don't understand why blacks use the 'N" word amongst each other and towards each other. It has power and some african americans choose to use it so that they can make other races feel shameful or guilty if they use the word. Its brilliant if you think about it because in this great day of "PC" you saw what the power of a word used to denigrate a race has done to punish those people who arent of that race if they use the "n"word. I have many friends that have married white women and would get upset if their spouse would sing along in a rap song and use the "n- word" in the song like 50 cent. Laughable and hypocritical lol! For all you fans out there that are feeling sorry for Ms.Dean: shed not a tear because I know she isn't . she's richer than she ever thought she would be and I'm sure this wont be the last time she uses the "n" word when referring to african americans.
PS I love the way she cooks lol!
So true, Flashe13. I would never use that term, prejudice or not. I find the south strange with it being stuck in the days of old as I come from the DC metro area where we don't even think of "color." When I moved to NC, racism was so foreign to me.
My husband read through Deen's deposition last night and found out her brother is the real jerk with the foul mouth. Maybe she's guilty of being a doormat and less of a racist?
I dont think that firing Paula was to severe. In my opinion, Paula may not have be an racist per say, but because of what happen to her in past has made her prejudice against blacks. She claims to had been held at gunpoint by a black man several years ago and I think that made her not like black people.I have come to realize that White people who say their not prejudice or the main ones that are. We have to realize as a black people that prejudice still exists. We have come a long way, but we still have a long way to long.
That seems so silly to be prejudice because crime was committed by another ethnicity. If she was held at gunpoint by white men, would she then hate her own race? I guess people are strange that way though.
True, but we also must realize that racism and prejudices are not of a certain race. They are found in all races.
Prejudice against blacks has existed for years and no I don't think she would be prejudice against her own race if she had of been held at gun point by white guys.
It's irrelevant what anybody thinks. The problem is with the media personality. The Food Network has a responsiblity to sell products and appeal to the masses. They have fans and supporters from all cultures from around the world. No group of people would expect a celebrity chef to target them with hate speech. Celebrities can think whatever they want, believe whatever they want, but they can't expect corporations to support their prejudices. It's not good for business, not even hers, as she has learned.
Trust me, being a racist is covered under the First Amendment because we all have the freedom of speech. But it's the American people that are outraged, and rightfully so. Yes cheating on your wife and dog fighting are bad but those offenses are not as severe and serious as racism. We never had a civil war due to disputes over dog fighting or adultery. Black people were never beaten, raped, maimed, lynched, or tarred due to adultery or dog fighting. So find something more comparable. Racism is such an unforgivable sin because it has crippled our nation for decades. If even the slightest bit of racism is overlooked, then it is allowed to prosper.
Firing people in placements like Paula Dean is not always about punishment. It is often about money. If a shoes line hired a celebrity to promote high-heeled shoes, would the company keep that person on board if she insulted women? Who would want negative publicity associated with their product and money?
Paula Dean's firing was severe, but she knew the position she was in and she should have know where to draw the line. On the other hand, everyone does something silly occasionally. As someone said, "What is inside of you will come out." She is who she is. Personally, I would not have fired her unless I felt that I would lose big because of what she said. "Every tub needs to sit on its own bottom," including one named Paula.
If people are willing to play the part of an Old South N-----, then, they must be willing to go whole hog and not feel insulted because that is how blacks were addressed during that time. Those "masters" and "mistresses" were not all decent Christians who knew how to treat all of God's people, and Blacks knew that. Jamie played a N----- in DJANGO--Oh, I forgot, he was paid well enough to take it, although he seemed to have had a problem getting into character. Pay me righteously, and I'll be your N-----, too! I know what and who I am. If you want to fantasize and want me to join you for a good salary, call me! "All you got to do is pick up your telephone and dial just 634-5789! That's my number . . . ."
As James Earl Jones said as he played Alex Haley in ROOTS when he was asked why he took the insult of the N-word, "It was the first time I've been called a N----- and got paid for it." Ok!
Seriously, Paula's negative publicity was the problem, I believe. So, her firing was probably a matter of the "Benjamins!"
Paula should not have used that word no matter what she was talking about. I don't think even in context it was right. No one in this day and age should talk like that. It's insulting, and immature.
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