I thought 30 seconds about writing this post. There are a lot of people angry with Paula Deen right now and for the most part, they have a right to be. But before you fry the woman in butter, let’s talk about this.
Paula Deen is in a LOT of hot water right now. In case you live under a rock or have been off the grid the past few days, Paula is in court right now because one of her former managers is suing Paula and her brother for sexual and racial harassment that incurred during the employees time with them over the past several years.
While under oath, Paula was asked the questions “have you ever told a racial joke?” and “have you ever used a racial slur?” and she answered “no” to the first one and “yes” to the second.
And that’s when Paula’s sweet, buttery life began to fall apart.
She admitted to using racial slurs in the past. She fessed up under oath, when a lot of celebrities would have done what was expected and lied about it and said that “NO! I have NEVER used racial slurs”.
I am a woman of the South. Paula is the same age as my parents. Paula was born and raised even further south than my parents. I am not proud to admit it, but I remember my parents using not-so-nice words to describe people. Lucky for them, they aren’t in the limelight.
I was uncomfortable with it in 1978 when I was 10 and I’m uncomfortable with it when I’m 44. My girls have never known color. I have never described people based on the color of their skin. My girls were at least 8 or 9 before they asked me why someone was darker than them. I’m not patting myself on the back but rather pointing out that life today is a LOT different from life then. And that’s a good thing.
I am in no means condoning what Paula Deen did, but I also think that living in today’s time is pretty tough – especially if the life you live is front and center. In today’s overly connected world, there is NO room for error. It’s bad enough if you say something but boy oh boy look out if you tweet it or update your status on Facebook with something “scandalous”. There is no delete button in life anymore. You can’t just take a bottle of white-out and brush it away. Ask any major brand who’s gone thru the embarrassment of having a rogue tweet go out.
Personally, I think Paula is getting a BAD deal. You show me one person who is without the sin of saying or doing something they regret. He or she who is without sin can cast that first stone. The only good thing that I can think of for this is that we are a forgetful society. From Martha Stewart to Tiger Woods to Kobe Bryant and Michael Vick. Every one of them has done as bad if not WORSE than Paula and is right back on top. Maybe with an asterisk by their name, but on top nonetheless.
Professionally, I hope that she has fired her entire PR team because honestly, the majority of the fall out is because of how the aftershock was handled… NOT because of what she said or did. The manner in which she has publicly been put out there is even more of a train wreck than Sofa-Jumping Tom Cruise.
What do you think? Does she deserve everything that’s happening to her or is our media going way overboard?