Friday, June 21, 2013

The Paula Deen Racism Scandal Timeline and Updates

Photo - Paula's Twitter
By now, I am sure you have all seen the countless amount of stories about 'Racist' Paula Deen and her lawsuit deposition.  I will give a timeline of what has happened so far regarding this story:

  • On Wednesday June 19th, the National Enquirer ran a story saying they had video of Paula Deen's legal deposition from May 17th and it had her "racist confessions."

  • After that story broke on Wednesday, other news agencies got their hands on the deposition and started writing stories such as "Paula Deen admits using the N-Word and telling Racist Jokes," where they picked select pieces of the deposition and didn't provide full context to make it sound juicier.

  • People on Twitter had a field day with it and started mocking her by naming racist dishes with the hashtag #PaulasBestDishes.  Eater has screenshots of some, or you can scroll through the top ones on Twitter.

  • The FULL transcript of the deposition came out later on Wednesday, which had the full interview between Paula Deen and a lawyer where she admits to using the N-word in jokes, etc.  The transcript is below if you want to read through it.

6/26/2013 - Added the Plaintiff, Lisa T. Jackson's Deposition, as no one seems to have that side of the story:

  • Late Wednesday, the Food Network issued a statement, which said "Food Network does not tolerate any form of discrimination and is a strong proponent of diversity and inclusion. We will continue to monitor the situation."

  • On Wednesday, Paula Deen's lawyers their first statement to US Weekly, which said, "Contrary to media reports, Ms. Deen does not condone or find the use of racial epithets acceptable. She is looking forward to her day in court."

  • On Thursday, Paula Deen's lawyers released another statement to People, which said "During a deposition where she swore to tell the truth, Ms. Deen recounted having used a racial epithet in the past, speaking largely about a time in American history which was quite different than today. She was born 60 years ago, when America's South had schools that were segregated, different bathrooms, different restaurants and Americans rode in different parts of the bus. This is not today." The statement goes on: "To be clear Ms. Deen does not find acceptable the use of this term under any circumstance by anyone nor condone any form of racism or discrimination."

  • Friday Morning June 21st - Paula is scheduled to appear on the Today show, but bails due to supposed 'exhaustion,' leaving Matt Lauer 'confused.' - Story

  • Friday June 21st around 9am - Paula announces that she will release a video statement, and that it will be out shortly.
  • Friday June 21st - Paula releases a heavily edited 46 second video begging for forgiveness, which is below:
UPDATE - That video was taken down and is now private, but you can see it at Eater.

UPDATE - Paula released another video with the message "After spending all day soul searching and trying to figure out how to deal with what I did, I recorded a video trying to do the right thing. In the end, Ifelt that I needed to just be myself, say I am sorry and beg for frogiveness.

What said was wrong and hurtful. I know that and will do everything that I can do make it right. I am not about hate, and I will devote myself to showing my family, friends and fans how to live a life helping others, lifting us all up, and spreading love.


It is 1 minute and 57 seconds and is below:

UPDATE 6/21/2013 5PM - Apparently Food Network is dropping Paula Deen when her contract expires at the end of the month.  Quote from a Food Network Spokesman, "Food Network will not renew Paula Deen's contract when it expires at the end of this month."

6/22/2013 - Paula's Best Dishes is scheduled to air at 9:00am, but is removed by the Food Network.

6/22/2013 - Paula issued a statement to People thanking the Food Network, which said, "I have had the pleasure of being allowed into so many homes across the country and meeting people who have shared with me the most touching and personal stories.  This would not have been possible without the Food Network. Thank you again. Love and best dishes to all of ya'll."

6/23/2013 - QVC is contemplating dropping Paula Deen, but no official word yet.

6/24/2013 - The Today show said that Paula Deen will be appearing on the show Wednesday with an interview from Matt Lauer.

6/24/2013 - Smithfield Foods terminates their contract with Paula Deen, stating: "Smithfield condemns the use of offensive and discriminatory language and behavior of any kind. Therefore, we are terminating our partnership with Paula Deen. Smithfield is determined to be an ethical food industry leader and it is important that our values and those of our spokespeople are properly aligned."

6/25/2013 - Jamie and Bobby Deen appear on CNN defending their mother and stated: " We were raised in a family with love and of faith and a house where God lived. And neither one of our parents ever taught us to be bigoted towards any other person for any reason and this is so saddening to me because our mother is one of the most compassionate, good hearted, empathetic people that you’d ever meet. And these accusations are very hurtful to her and it’s very sad. And frankly, I’m disgusted by the entire thing because it began as extortion and it has become character assassination….”  Link to Video Interview. 

6/26/2013 7:30am - Paula appears on the Today show for an interview with Matt Lauer.  The interview is just over 13 minutes and video and details of interview can be found here.

6/26/2013 - Caesars Entertainment Corporation announced they will "not renew the corporation's business relationship with Paula Deen Enterprises."  Paula has 4 buffet restaurants in casinos with the corporation, and all will be closing.  Horseshoe Southern Indiana Casino, which has one of the restaurants stated, "In light of today's announcement regarding Caesar Entertainment Corporation and Paula Deen Enterprises mutual decision to not renew the two companies business relationship, Horseshoe Southern Indiana will announce plans for a new buffet in the near future."

6/26/2013 4:00pm - Walmart has ended its relationship with Paula Deen.  A statement said: "We are ending our relationship with Paula Deen Enterprises and we will not place new orders beyond those already committed...We will work with suppliers to address existing inventories and agreements."

6/26/2013 7:00pm - Home Depot says it will stop carrying Paula Deen branded items in their kitchen and cookware category and has taken those items off of its website.

6/27/2013 9:30am - Novo Nordisk mutually agreed to suspend patient education activities for now and released a statement: "Novo Nordisk and Paula Deen have mutually agreed to suspend our patient education activities for now, while she takes time to focus her attention where it is needed.  Novo Nordisk would like to acknowledge Paula's involvement in our Diabetes in a New Light™ campaign, where she has helped make many people aware of type 2 diabetes and the lifestyle changes needed to control this serious disease."

6/27/2013 12:00pm - Target says they will stop selling Paula Deen branded items once sold out.  Their statement says: "We have made a decision to phase out the Paula Deen merchandise in our stores as well as on  Once the merchandise is sold out, we will not be replenishing inventory."

6/27/2013 - Paula Deen's Ex-Husband gives an interview to the Albany Herald (their hometown), criticizing the media and Lisa Jackson.

6/28/2013 11:00am - Sears and Kmart say they will stop carrying Paula Deen branded items.  Their statement said: "After careful consideration of all available information, we have made the decision to phase out all products tied to the brand."

6/28/2013 11:00am - Walgreens say they will "phase out" Paula Deen products.  Walgreens also owns Duane Reade and

6/28/2013 2:00pm - J.C. Penney has decided to stop selling Paula Deen merchandise. J.C. Penney also plans to remove her products from over the weekend.

6/28/2013 5:30pm - Despite being #1 on Amazon's Best Seller list, Ballantine Books announced it has cancelled the publication of Paula Deen's New Testament: 250 Favorite Recipes, All Lightened Up, which was scheduled to be released in October.

7/2/2013 - Lisa Jackson, the woman suing Paula Deen released a statement to Today, which said, "I may be a white woman, but I could no longer tolerate her abuse of power as a business owner, nor her condonation of Mr. Hier’s despicable behavior on a day-to-day basis.  I am what I am, and I am a human being that cares about discrimination in the workplace. In part, in this circumstance, I have to be a voice for those who are too afraid to use theirs."

7/4/2013 - Paula Deen fired her longtime agent Barry Weiner.  A statement from her spokeswoman: "Paula Deen has separated from her agent.  She and her family thank him for the tireless effort and dedication over the many years.”

7/5/2013 - FBI agents arrested a man who tried to extort $250,000 out of Paula Deen who claimed he had "true and damning" information about Paula and wanted to be paid to be quiet.

7/11/2013 - Paula Deen fires her original lawyers, and hires a high powered law firm with a lot of experience with wrongful termination and other employment issues.

7/25/2013 - Paula Deen's longtime cook Dora Charles thinks she was not treated fairly by Paula in a story in NY Times.  Paula Deen denies these claims.

7/26/2013 - Paula Deen denies that she paid Dora Charles $10 an hour, and claims she received a $70,000 a year salary plus profit sharing and benefits. (ET Online)

8/12/2013 - A federal judge dismisses the racial claims in the lawsuit, however a few issues in the suit are still pending. (Savannah Now)

8/23/2013 - The lawsuit is dismissed after a settlement was made:

9/14/2013 - Paula Deen makes her first public appearance at the Houston Metro Cooking Show, and is greeting with a standing ovation.  She sheds some tears and thanks the crowd for the support.

9/17/2013 - The man who tried to extort Paula Deen was sentenced to two years in federal prison.

What are your thoughts on the whole situation?

I will keep this post updated with any of the newest updates regarding this scandal.


  1. They also have/had Sunny Anderson, Aaron McCargo and Roger Mooking. And Maneet and Aarti (Indian) and Aaron (Hispanic) and quite a few gays including their managing director Bob Tuschman. I don't think they have any problem with diversity. I think they had a big problem with Paula Deen last year when they found out she didn't tell them she had been diagnosed with diabetes until she found a way to make money from the situation and this latest public embarrassment was the last straw.

  2. "embrace of diversity"?

    With all due respect, I think you can count the number of African-American shows and stars on the network on one hand... The Neelys and Marcus Samuelson are the only ones that immediately come to mind, although I'm sure there are more that I'm omitting.

    I'm not excusing Paula, but I think the FN needs to look in the mirror.

  3. I'm not sure there's a "context" in which hate speech is ever appropriate. One of the reasons I love the Food Network is their complete embrace of diversity.

    Don't know how this will affect Bobby Deen with Not My Momma's Meals. He's an innocent party here.

  4. Using the "n" word is offensive to a lot of people, to say nothing of planning an antebellum-themed wedding - replete with slaves. There's nothing remotely romantic about fantasizing about a time in American History when blacks were considered non-persons, let alone re-enacting that era for a wedding.

    She hung herself and deserves no pity for the consequences.

  5. Plenty of famous people say and do stupid things all the time many of which are offensive or insensitive to someone. Its interesting who gets singled out for the firing squad and who always gets unconditional forgiveness and second chances.

  6. I think she is wrong. She apologized & she doesn't need to loose her show over this!

  7. Not sure about the logistics, such as if they will pull her shows and reruns from airing, if she will appear at events such as NYC Wine and Food Festival, etc. I will post updates as they come in.

  8. I wish they'd give Sunny Anderson an afternoon show in Deen's place - in fact, I hope they fill the time that way, not like how I fear they will, with more endless showings of DDD. Sigh.

  9. Is she just 'fired' or banned from the network entirely? Is there anything barring her from appearing on one of her son's shows occasionally?

  10. Looks like they have pulled her show

  11. TMZ is reporting that her son's staying with the Food Network: "Paula's son Bobby Deen will be spared ... his Food Network show 'Not My Mama's Meals' won't be affected by his mama getting the boot."

  12. Wonder if they'll be changing his show's name...?

  13. I always chuckle when people who are not black talk about how common the word is. I've been black my whole life. My family has been black their whole lives and *that* is not a word that is used in any of our homes.

    Several grubby, foul mouthed rappers and a bunch of rebellious white boys using it doesn't make it any less foul or any more acceptable. The kinds of blacks who used that word would *not* have been welcome to walk through my grandmother's front door.

    This is the word people spat as they tied a rope around James Byrd nd dragged him to death. It's the word they chanted as they strung black men and women up and hung them from trees.

    if you think anything can make that word socially acceptable, please let me know.

    But to bring it back to Ms Deen, as I've stated elsewhere, she is a product of her time and I would not have believed her if she said that she never used that word in anger or that she never told a racist joke.

  14. Yes, but the reports of her use language and attitudes came out a year and a half ago. While it didn't have the admissions in her month old deposition, that lawsuit was out there nd t was pretty easy to read between the lines.

    If you do a google news archive search you'll see a few pages of articles on the lawsuit.

  15. No - her deposition was given to the national Enquirer and later to other news outlets that reported on it.

  16. The vast majority of the times I've heard the n word in the last 20 or 30 years has been by black folks. Sometimes as a slur and sometimes simply addressing another black person as such. It has become very common.
    Society needs to decide - either it's offensive or not and it's either OK or not OK but double-standards based on the race of the person saying it IS RACISM in and of itself.

  17. I watch Food Network all the time. I will not watch it anymore because of them getting rid of Paula Dean. I do feel she made a Mistake which was inappropriate but who hasn't. She was big enough to publicly appoligize. How many others are getting away with worse and no one has cancelled or shunned them for their mistakes. FN has made a BIG mistake and I hope all the best for Paula! I hope FN reverses its decision because of their Mistake, if not I hope FN wil fail big time. See ya its been really disappointing.

  18. I'm not a Paula Deen fan, I think that her food is obscene (and not in a good way). However, as much as I like the Food Network, I think this was a bit of a set up.

    A year and a half ago when she was called out for pushing keeping her diabetes a secret until she could make a payday from it, it came out that she and her brother were being sued and that their attitudes towards race were, um, less than enlightened. and then all of a sudden that part of the story just died only to come back just before her contract is up for renewal.

    I have to wonder with if someone at the Food Network dropped a dime to the media so they could get rid of her easily. I'm not sorry she's gone, but I still think this may have been a set up.

  19. I have no argument with anything you said and I'm not surprised that your family rejects making it socially acceptable. But that doesn't change the facts I pointed out.

    I personally agree that it shouldn't be socially acceptable but... the most common response I've gotten when I've called out black folks on it was that it's OK because they're black (double standards based on race). The second most frequent reply is that they use it nonchalantly to desensitize the meaning of the word.

    I agree with you but my point remains - it's either OK or not OK regardless of who's saying it.

  20. Done with Food NetworkJune 27, 2013 at 1:59 PM

    It is a bunch of whiny ass BS in my opinion. So she said something she shouldn't have. Well whoopity shit ! Get over it you bunch of lazy living off the govt deadbeats. I'm done with Food Network too ! They seem to support every off the wall group they can find , but let one southern lady who was honest and apologetic make a mistake and they threw her to the dogs. How bout all the money that Paula Deen has made for them ? Does she get a refund ? I doubt she even gets a Christmas card, it would be politically incorrect, somebody might be offended. I've watched the Food Network for years because sometimes it's the only decent programming on. They are like everyone else they are just in it for the dollar and I hope the network loses lots of their precious dollars for cutting her shows. I realize I'm just one person and the network really doesn't give a rats ass about my opinion but just to get my own two cents in.....I'M DONE WITH FOOD NETWORK !

  21. I'm not condoning the use of the word she said, but
    that was a long time ago. As to her wedding, that was also a long time
    ago and that never came to fruition.

    Of the people accusing Deen, I want them to look in the mirror and tell
    me 100% honestly that they NEVER put anyone down or called them a name
    that was offensive. Names that are offensive can also
    include "fat" or "slow" depended on the person in question.

    the Food Network; because of their actions, which I believe to be a
    little harsh, I now have a strict eye on them. There are a lot of shows I
    enjoy watching, and right now they are about this close | | to losing a

  22. Yeah...'Not My Racist Mama's Meals'. That would appeal to all the intolerant posters around here.

  23. I read alot of that deposition and the woman filing the claim should realize there's a big difference between being offended by something and being discriminated against...

  24. Yeah, and the person who should be getting all of the bad press should be Paula's brother. If it wasn't for him, I doubt Paula would be in this mess.

  25. If you are perfect and have never used any form of racial slur the you are certainly in the smallest minority of this planet. I will never watch any program on you're channel again and many of the people I have talked with feel the same. I guess it only matters when you admit that you have and everyday you will hear some form of slur to many different nationalities and no one ever goes to the depth that you have stooped to. SHAME ON FOOD NETWORK !!!!!

  26. I feel she should have been fired a long time ago for the outrageous fat and sugar recipes she's cooked over the years. Then she didn't admit to being a diabetic for three years and signed up to "help" diabetics that she helped create! What a hypocrite.

    Now could you please replace her with a show touting wholesome, healthy food to help train an obese nation how to change their diets???

  27. I think it's a disgrace that people can lose everything they have worked so hard for because of something they said. I'm sure most people say something "inappropriate" at some time or another. This kind of thing makes it legal for people to harass others and cause them great pain, much more pain than words can cause. This country is a complete mess and only getting worse.

  28. Well Steve.. consider it this way... A fat person is perfectly within their right to make light of their own situation and joke about it.. Does that make it right for someone else to make jokes at that persons expense without any consideration for their feelings?..

    Another example.. I might say something derogatory about my mother when she pisses me off.. But I DARE you too.. It is NOT the same. Get it?

  29. Yep. I get it. And double-standards based on race IS racism. Get it?

  30. I agree!!!! If her employees didn't like her, just quit and find a nicer boss, period.
    She isn't a role model, she's a cook. I am not 'all' white, I am a Swiss-Mexican.
    I am not racist and hate bullies. If my boss was an asshole, I'd let him or her know how I feel and either they correct how they treat me, or I'd quit. And yes, I have been in that position. Sometimes I moved on

  31. They got rid of the Neelys, Aaron McCargo,..Sunni Anderson is coming back with a new show. Also Emeril, Mario gone.

  32. I believe they did know about the diabetes and told her to keep it quiet for now.

  33. Did nobody ever hear of Smithfields illegal dumping of facility waste in a nearby stream? They got caught and had to pay thousands of dollars for clean up! They talk a "holy game" but are just polluting our fresh water creeks and streams! Their thick cut bacon is so fatty there was nothing left to it after baking it! Will not be buying anymore of their products due to poor ethic/environmental standards...We supporters of Paula need to rally together and stop buying their wastful products at a high end price!

  34. Steve I think you are purposely missing the point. It is not ok for anyone to call anyone else a Nigger, Nigga, or any other spelling of the word. I am Black and i am completely offended by the word. It does not matter who says it. So to answer your question; No. Nigger is not and never was socially acceptable. You have a valid point. You may hear a few blacks calling themselves and their friends niggers. But the majority of Blacks that understand what this word represents do not call anyone Nigger and will not tolerate anyone else whatever color they are calling them Nigger. And yes, I get it...