Paula Deen Skips Out on ‘Today’ to Avoid N-Word Controversy

As her N-word controversy heated up, celebrity chef Paula Deen stood up the “Today” show this morning, with her representatives informing host Matt Lauer just before the show went on air that she would be pulling out of the segment in which she was set to address the accusations.

Lauer told viewers he had spoken with Deen the day before to arrange what NBC had promoted as an exclusive, live appearance, but she couldn’t go through with it.

Across the Web, commentators have been tearing into Deen after it was revealed that not only did she admit to using the N-word and making other racial slurs, but in a publicly released deposition for a lawsuit filed against her she admitted to making anti-Semitic, racist and homophobic jokes.

She also planned a “Southern-style wedding” in which she hired black waiters to take on the appearance of slaves.


Deen’s word bombs came to light in a $1.2 million lawsuit filed by former employee Lisa Jackson, who claims the restaurateur’s brother, Bubby Heirs, sexually assaulted her during a five-year stint as the general manager of Deen’s Georgia restaurants.


On the Daily Show, correspondent Jessica Williams jokingly said that Deen suffers from either type-one racism (inherited) or type-two (“adult-onset racism”). Williams concluded by saying, “Paula Deen’s words aren’t hurting black people anywhere near as much as her recipes are.”


New York Times bestselling author Denene Millner, creator of the parenting website, wrote on that she wasn’t surprised by Deen’s revelations.


“This is a 66-year-old woman from the South, born close enough to segregation to see the whites of Jim Crow’s eyes,” Millner wrote. “I’ll bet she knows how rank he smells—that rancid, putrid bouquet that escapes when the word “nigger” curls off the tongue. I’m betting, too, that she knows how scary he looks on a dark country road on a hot Southern summer’s night. Or in an equally hot kitchen where Negroes toil.”
“I’m not saying this is the way of every 66-year-old white woman from the South,” Millner concluded. “But I’ve been living in the South for almost a decade, and I’ve got enough honest, good white friends down here who’ve told me in confidence that their grandfathers and daddies and uncles still have white sheets hanging in their closets—not the kind for beds, but the ones rocked with pride in front of burning crosses. Racist behavior lingers—dances all up and through the DNA.”






Back to top