Should Food Network have “fired” Paula Deen?
Paula Deen has been a principle fixture for the Food Network since 1999. Her success really is the American Dream. She went from scrapping by with her two young sons to creating a $16 million cooking brand. Earlier this year she announced she was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes three years ago. Some criticized her for hypocrisy in that she often advocated high-fat and high-sugar recipes. This week the network star came under fire after her deposition was leaked to the press. By the end of the week, Food Network decided to not renew her contract when it expired at the end of the month.
Lisa Jackson, a former employee, alleged that Ms. Deen made racist comments in her presence. When asked what she wanted the servers to wear during a 2007 wedding Deen allegedly replied:
“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.”
When asked in her deposition if she had ever used the N-word she replied: “Yes, of course.” She also said that she mean to offend anyone. She said she can’t determine what offends other people. Deen claims she isn’t racist, but her comments are sometimes a product of her upbringing in the South. Even after making three “apologies” late last week, the network still decided to “fire” her.
Should she have been fired?
I think yes. Ms. Deen claims that she isn’t racist. I do not know her so I cannot tell you one way or another. What I can tell you that she is completely insensitive to others. She obviously knew what she was saying was wrong because she said the “media would be on me about that.” She can’t argue of an ignorance born from a childhood in which racial slurs were often used.
We aren’t discussing comments she made as a child. At least then she could argue she used those words (although now regrets it) but stopped after she was mature enough to understand the historical significance of the word. Deen made those comments 6 years ago! At that time she should have known that it is not okay to speak like that. She may not be saying those words to offend anyone, but it doesn’t make the comments any less offensive. I think the Food Network was put in a predicament where they had no other choice but to cease a professional relationship. I think if her contract expired next year the network could have hoped the bad publicity would taper.
I think Ms. Deen should be “fired” so that she can learn a lesson. I don’t think she should forever be blacklisted; but I think she deserves this backlash. This mess is solely created by her actions and comments; therefore she should endure the consequences.
What do you think?
Are we too politically correct?
Twitter: @adrakontaidis & @talkrealdebate