Well, my first post in a while is about a very current event. If you're a fellow foodie, you'll have an opinion on this one, too. I first posted this on Bubblews.com.
I haven't been able to watch Food Network for a while since we no longer have cable, but it saddens me that this controversy has cost her her job. The use of that word is always wrong, but the events in question, the times when she admits to having used it, took place years ago. If you watch Paula on any of her shows - or on any other show, for that matter - you will see a woman who just loves everyone.
I do not believe for one moment that Paula Deen is a bigot. However, I do believe that the culture in which she grew up WAS - segregation, Jim Crow, whites-only everything. That she has come out of all that as accepting as she is says a lot about her. She's raised her sons to accept everyone. But, that doesn't change the fact that there was a time in her life when the use of that particularly ill-suited word was commonplace. Whether the user meant it in a hateful way or a benign way, it was part of the common vernacular.
Paula Deen brought herself up from poverty to be who she is today. There is no one who can not respect that. So what if she developed Type-II Diabetes because her diet wasn't the best. She's sure as hell not the only Southerner this is happening to. And, who better to represent to those same people how all those sweets and carb-laden foods can affect your health than the queen of butter cooking herself?? I'm not speaking tongue-in-cheek, either. She is an icon, an idol to many and a peer to an entire section of this country. She is a good example for them to observe and learn from.
Now, with regard to her firing....I remember when Food Network also fired Chef Robert Irvine for lying on his resume. It turned out that he had exaggerated the roles he'd played in the jobs he'd listed. However, the man is a brilliant chef AND he has a large following. Although he did deserve to be fired, Food Network brought him back a year later. He'd had his punishment and now he could again do what he did best - accomplish the seemingly impossible.
Therefore, it is my hope that the same will hold true for Paula. I hope that her followers are strong and vocal enough that they convince Food Network to bring Paula back. She is an asset to the network, even if this situation is less than optimal. She knows she screwed up. You can see it in her face in the video she posted to YouTube about this. In fact, she looks so downtrodden, I wouldn't be surprised to hear of new health concerns brought on by this stressful situation. I know that some will say "she deserves it" and they may be right. Whether she deserved to be fired, I'm not sure, since her actions were done long ago and were not done against her employer as Chef Irvine's were. Regardless, a punishment has been meted and she will deal with it. But, I still think that they should consider bringing her back after everything cools off. She's good at what she does, as was Chef Irvine. She makes clear that she is NOT a chef, but is a cook. All of her coworkers love her. I would love to see this all work out for her.
How do you all feel about this?
First video - deleted by Paula. Can be seen here: www.mediaite.com/online/paula-deen-releases-video-statement-addressing-use-of-n-word-plantation-costumes/
Second video - www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&;v=nu6Us7fpr00
Third video - www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&;v=9L9LOfVlNxc
Check out Paula's Facebook Page and see what her supporters, many of them black women, are saying about and to her.
Originally published on my Bubblews account.