Paula Deen Can She Rise Again?

Paula Deen Can She Rise Again?
My fellow writer Charles Gill opined on June 23 that Paula Deen will come back from this controversial adversity that she’s been thrown into by “telling the truth” and getting castigated for it. But can Paula Deen rise again or like the civil war influenced song, has she seen her days effectively numbered?

That remains to be seen.

But let us look at a similar situation that concerned country music singer and Southern “Good ole boy” Hank Williams Jr. who got into trouble with his network. While not “overtly” racist, it came damned close and his comparison of our current president with one of the most hated and vilified figures in history left a nasty taste in a lot of people’s mouths.

In an October 3, 2011, interview with the Fox News Channel show, Fox and Friends, Hank Williams Jr. referred to a June golf game which pitted President Barack Obama and Republican House Speaker John Boehner against Vice President Joe Biden and Ohio Governor John Kasich, Williams said, the match was, “one of the biggest political mistakes ever”.

When asked why Williams thought that, he said, “Come on. That’d be like Hitler playing golf with Netanyahu … in the shape this country is in?” He also said that the President and Vice President are “the enemy” and he went on to compare the two with “the Three Stooges”.

News anchor Gretchen Carlson responded to his statements by saying to Williams, “You used the name of one of the most hated people in all of the world to describe, I think, the president.” Williams said back, “Well, that is true. But I’m telling you like it is.”

This statement resulted in ESPN dropped Williams’ opening musical number from its Monday Night Football broadcast of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers versus the Indianapolis Colts and replaced it with the national anthem. A number that has been part of the Monday Night Football broadcast since 1989.

Afterward, Williams explained that his analogy was “extreme – but it was to make a point”, and “Some of us have strong opinions and are often misunderstood … I was simply trying to explain how stupid it seemed to me – how ludicrous that pairing was. They’re polar opposites, and it made no sense. They don’t see eye-to-eye and never will.”

But despite Williams going on to claim that he has “always respected the office of the president,” he added that, “Working-class people are hurting – and it doesn’t seem like anybody cares. When both sides are high-fiving it on the ninth hole when everybody else is without a job – it makes a whole lot of us angry. Something has to change. The policies have to change.” ESPN later announced they were “extremely disappointed” in Williams’ comments, and pulled his opening from that night’s broadcast.

Three days later, ESPN released a statement announcing Williams and his song would not return to Monday Night Football.

Too date, there has been no sign of the network going back on their decision to “ban” Williams from the show.

Admittedly, Hank Williams Jr was just being himself and the nail in his “ESPN coffin” was his non-recalcitrant attitude. He not only didn’t apologise, he went on to release a record saying how he really felt.

While this has not affected the country singer’s career per se, he doesn’t rely on television to spread the word on his music. He wasn’t even a “figure-head” for the Monday Night Football program on ESPN network, his song was.

Paula Deen, on the other hand, used the Food Network and her three programs to help build her reputation and her fortune. Using the “winning” combination of being an unapologetic Southern Belle who was not adverse to speaking her mind and her “homespun” Southern charm that dripped like so much ersatz honey blossoms, she built an financial empire with the aid of the network.

In this thoroughly PC world that we live in, racism (or the very hint of it) is a career killer. Sure, the 66 year-old celebrity cook from Georgia has a lot of stalwart and faithful fans who have come to her aid (Have you seen the Food Network’s Facebook page?) and who will forgive Paula all her previous transgressions.

But it is doubtful that the network will back off of on their decision. Television is not about viewer choice or even quality programs. It is all about the money dear children. Money equals sponsors and the loss of these vital money givers is the “bottom-line” with the networks.

Racism and its continual emergence in our modern world is not condoned publicly by anyone, never mind that at least half of them still practise it in some form or another in private. The threat of political incorrectness will ruin a career with all the precision of a fatal death blow to the head in an abattoir. Unfortunately for the Paula Deen, celebrity cook and restaurateur, just like the South she probably will not, “Rise again.”

By Michael Smith


11 Responses to "Paula Deen Can She Rise Again?"

  1. Emma Fisher   June 25, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    I applaud The Food Network for not renewing Paula Deen’s contract and believe that QVC and Walmart should do the same. Paula has demonstrated a gross display of racial insensitivity and extreme lack of judgment with her comments. She has failed to understand how the negligible amount of “white privilege” which she has grown up under in a very racist south has afforded her and her family a continued life of benefits. Meanwhile, many black men and women who are her age and older have yet to be given an official acknowledgment or Presidential Apology for slavery and the continued effects on those decendents of slaves. Many groups like the Native Americans, Japanese and our Jewish brothers and sisters have not only received an official apology, but have also been given, reparations in the form of govt. land, forgiven debt and billions of dollars in annual grants to support our friends in Israel. Her suggesting to host a Southern Slavery party in 2013 is reprehensible and speaks volumes of anyone who chooses to continue supporting a person who feels this is somehow “ok or harmless” and not majorly offensive. A few years ago, a CNN anchor by the name of Rick Sanchez was fired for simply making the comment: “I’m telling you that everybody who runs CNN is a lot like Jon Stewart, and a lot of people who run all the other networks are a lot like Stewart, and to imply that somehow they – the people in this country who are Jewish – are an oppressed minority? Yeah.” [sarcastically] Mr. Sanchez quickly apologized but was still fired. If Mr Sanchez’s comments were grounds for being fired, then certainly Paula Deen should be fired and held accountable for her comments. Additionally, as more of her employees continue to come forward, perhaps she should consider using a portion of her $24Million Dollars to establish a museum of tolerance for more racial equality in the racist South of which she is so proud to have come.

  2. Cj Macintosh   June 24, 2013 at 7:31 pm

    The Kardashins are the biggest RACIST of all Kim’s sister once said in a interview that before she got married she never dated a white man or ever thought about it , Kim on the other hand married a white man for what 73 days or so that ended up being fake and all I seem is her with black men so.

  3. rosic   June 24, 2013 at 6:06 pm

    What would have happened if someone had used the word “Fat” to describe Ms. Dean? Would the media chastise them for using the F-word. What if someone said she looked
    “Elderly”? Would the media crucify them for using the E-word? Is deleting a letter or letters from a word-like fat and elderly-ridiculous? Then what about the American trend of writing the N-word instead of the whole word? Could the N-word mean Negro?
    I’m confused. I don’t know if Americans are allowed to use the word Negro anymore. Is the word Negro still in the dictionary? If the word Negro is still in the dictionary, does the word mean anything? I have read novels by a very famous author who uses the word Negro. I wonder if he is going to banned or sued for using the word. Will his books get burned?
    What is self-censorship? Have Americans forgotten what censorship means? Should we declare war on “words” that are “perceived” to be offensive to some? What about words like “wetback,” recently used by a Senator? Or what about WOP?
    What other words have been exterminated? Remember the word queer? Should we never use the word queer again because of perceptions? I am genuinely confused as to what will get me in hot water and what is “acceptable” English today. Most of all, I’m confused as to what America stands for and what the USA is coming to. That is why I say for:

  4. Della   June 24, 2013 at 4:14 pm

    Louise you are so right. I agree they are targeting Paula as they did
    Martha Stewart, there are those who can’t stand to see a woman with money and influence so they have to bring them down if at all possible.

  5. Louise   June 24, 2013 at 3:03 pm

    I personally think they are targeting Paula Deen like they did Martha Stewart. The woman is from the south, she grew up with these terms regardless if they are considered racists. The comments were made over ten years ago. She meant no harm to anyone. GET A LIFE PEOPLE!! Find someone who deserves to be picked on. Why is it not racists when a black man calls another black man that very word? I personally have never considered the word as an insult to black people, its a word most often used when referring to trash which there is some in every race! Those are the people I am predjudice against, not your race, color, or origin. I stand behind Paula and I too will be careful in what I watch and purchase, in case they are people who formally sponsored her. She will be back just like Martha Stewart! Good luck Paula.

    • Jim Marston   June 24, 2013 at 7:12 pm

      What in the HELL do you mean She will rise again , She has not fallen She is the same person she was . There is not one person in the South that has not used the (terrible N word ) at one time or another . If it is so offensive to black people , then they should DAMN WELL STOP USING IT EVERY DAY !!!!!!!!!!

      • Louise   June 25, 2013 at 4:54 am

        AMEN! You are so right!

  6. Old Gray Bear   June 24, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    Now hold on folks. Ms. Dean was born and raised in the deep south BEFORE the civil rights movement began, and before the realization that certain language can be very hurtful to groups of very decent folks. Perhaps the appropriate response regarding the Paula Dean situation is “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone……

  7. Kathy   June 24, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    cap , i agree with you

  8. Kathy   June 24, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    I agree, i am against racist remarks, however, any of the people dumping her now have never made a remark , maybe not the n word but something just as bad , in the past , he who has not sinned, may he cast the first stone ..

  9. cap   June 24, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    PAULA you are in my prayers and you WILL RISE AGAIN. ANY OF THESE BUSINESSES THAT DROP YOU, I WILL NEVER WATCH AGAIN! In my eyes you are the best. These businesses are making a tremendous mistake.


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