Saturday, June 22, 2013

Bill Maher Defends Paula Deen After Firing: ‘Do We Always Have to Make People Go Away?

MEMPHIS TN (IFS) -- I love Paula Deen.  Even written a song about her several years ago.  I always believed that you protect, seniors and babies.  I am sadden that something that someone said over twenty-five odd years ago, can come back and crush you like stomping on a soda pop can.

It appears that the timing is absolute when it comes to dropping someone from the ticket.  Paula Deen's firing and other problems comes all at once.  I believe that the cake is burning in the kitchen and the higher powers have decided that she is a threat and maybe stepped on the toes of one of the bosses and this is retaliation for past sins.

If Paula really said those things in the presences of other employees, she is indeed in trouble.  But if these sound bits are taken out of context and falsely accuses Paula of something that is not true, this too is a crime. Not one announcement does it make to destroy a Multi-million dollar business and drive success out of the window overnight.  This whole thing stinks and the timing is calculated.

 People do change.  And thank God for it.  I am sure that I was a rotten kid and did and said horrible things about people.  Alot of them my opinions are still firm, and others, I have done a complete "turnaround".  We are all in that position.

Where are our Christian values?  We forgave Jimmy Swaggart, Tiger Woods and many others.  Heck, we even forgive people who cross over into our country, we give them peace, love and shelter and sometime, a free citizenship.

Paula, I so sorry for whatever you have supposed to have done.  What ever it is, it's far short of robbery and murder.  -KHS


SAVANNAH, Ga. — Watching Paula Deen's cooking show was a weekend ritual for Marilynne Wilson, who says she's furious at the Food Network for dumping the comfort-food queen after she acknowledged using racial slurs in the past.

"I was shocked. I thought she'd get a fair trial," Wilson, a nurse from Jacksonville, Fla., said Saturday after stopping to buy souvenirs at the gift shop Deen owns next to her Savannah restaurant. "I think the Food Network jumped the gun."

A day after announcing that it's dropping Deen from its roster of celebrity cooks, the cable network was served heaping portions of Southern fried outrage by her fans.

Angry messages piled up Saturday on the network's Facebook page, with many Deen fans threating to change the channel for good. "So good-bye Food Network," one viewer wrote. "I hope you fold like an accordion!!!"

The decision to drop Deen, whose daytime shows have been a Food Network fixture since 2002, came two days after disclosure of a recent court deposition in which Deen was asked under oath if she had ever used the N-word. "Yes, of course," 66-year-old Deen said, though she added, "It's been a very long time."

Deen and her brother are being sued by a former manager of their restaurant who says she was harassed and worked in an environment rife with innuendo and racial slurs.

Wilson's friend Debbie Brown said the Food Network is "basically convicting" Deen. "They should have waited until it goes to court," she said.

Deen issued a videotaped apology Friday in asking fans and critics alike for forgiveness. It had been posted online for about an hour when the Food Network released a terse statement that it "will not renew Paula Deen's contract when it expires at the end of this month." The network refused to comment further.

A representative for Deen did not immediately return a phone call and email message Saturday.

Meanwhile, Deen's critics were making themselves heard online. On Friday night, (hash)PaulaDeenTVShows became a top trending topic on Twitter, with postings that satirized familiar titles. Earlier in the week, they tweeted satirical names for recipes using (hash)PaulasBestDishes.

Deen's legal deposition was conducted last month as part of the 2012 lawsuit filed by Lisa Jackson, who worked at Uncle Bubba's Seafood and Oyster House. The lawsuit drew scant attention from news outlets until Deen was questioned under oath and her remarks became available to the public in a transcript.

On Saturday, the controversy didn't keep customers from The Lady & Sons, the restaurant owned by Deen and her sons in Savannah's downtown historic district.

"If you look at her restaurant here, I don't think it's going to hurt her too much," said Felipe Alexander, an Atlanta trucking company owner, as he waited on the sidewalk for his lunchtime reservation. He also said he didn't blame the Food Network for cutting Deen loose.

"If the network didn't want to be associated with somebody who used that word, it has the right to do that," Alexander said.

The fallout may not end with Food Network. At least two other companies that do business with Deen say they're keeping a close eye on the controversy. Las Vegas-based Caesars Entertainment Corporation, which has Deen's restaurants in some of its casinos, said Friday that it "will continue to monitor the situation." Publisher Ballantine, which has a new Deen book scheduled to roll out this fall, used similar words.

The heat over Deen's remarks hasn't been quite as intense in Savannah, where her success over the past decade has helped raise the coastal Georgia city's profile as a tourist magnet.

The head of Visit Savannah, the city's tourism bureau, weighed in on Deen's plight Saturday on Twitter.

"OK, I'll do it: what (at)Paula-Deen did was wrong," Joe Marinelli, Visit Savannah's president, tweeted. "But she's part of our (at)Savannah family and I'm here to support her."


Bill Maher Defends Paula Deen After Firing: ‘Do We Always Have to Make People Go Away?’
Jun. 22, 2013 8:00am
By Madeleine Morgenstern

Bill Maher offered one of the rare public defenses of embattled celebrity chef Paula Deen on Friday, asking why “we always have to make people go away” for saying bad words.

Deen was dropped by the Food Network following her public apology after it emerged this week that she had admitted to using the n-word in the past.

“I’m just wondering,” Maher began on his HBO show “Real Time,” “if you’re 66 years old and you were raised in Georgia and you were a child before the civil rights movement, do you get a bit of a pass — ”

“No — ” members of his panel cut in.

” — or you say no, you’ve had 40 years to get used to — I agree,” Maher said. But he added a few moments later, “I also think people shouldn’t have to lose their shows and go away when they do something bad.”

“It’s just a word, it’s a wrong word, she’s wrong to use it, but do we always have to make people go away?” Maher asked.

The panel again disagreed, with former New York Times columnist Bob Herbert saying, “For me that word is the line…nobody should be using that word.”

Maher asked whether “we should ban rap records” and said that in America, “you’ve gotta be a free country, even to be an a–hole.”

See the clip below:

Paula Deen Thanks Food Network for '11 Great Years' After Firing

By Kathy Ehrich Dowd

Embattled celebrity cook Paula Deen issued a statement thanking the Food Network for 11 "great years" less than 24 hours after the cable channel announced it was dropping its longtime star following her admission that she used a racial slur in the past.

"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," Deen, 66, said in a statement released to CNN Friday night. "This would not have been possible without the Food Network. Thank you again. Love and best dishes to all of ya'll."

The Food Network announced on Friday that it would not renew Deen's contract when it expires at the end of the month. The announcement comes just days after news that Deen admitted in a May deposition to using the N-word several times in her past.

For more than a decade, Deen shined as one of the biggest stars of the Food Network and earned legions of fans – and some critics – for her brand of hearty Southern cooking.

Keep up with your favorite celebs in the pages of PEOPLE Magazine by subscribing now.

PEOPLE has learned that the Food Network's move will not affect the shows starring Deen's sons, Not My Mama's Meals with Bobby Deen on the Cooking Channel andHome for Dinner with Jamie Deen on Food Network.

On Friday, Jamie Deen Tweeted a message acknowledged the controversy without apologizing for his mom. "A heartfelt thank y'all to those who have sent love and support for mom and our family. #pray."

Paula's troubles began earlier this week after comments she made in a sworn deposition May 17th were filed in U.S. District Court on Monday. The deposition was part of a lawsuit filed by Lisa Jackson, a former manager of Uncle Bubba's Seafood and Oyster House, claiming she was sexually harassed and worked in a hostile environment filled with racial slurs and innuendo in the restaurant owned by Deen and her brother, Bubba Hiers.

When a lawyer for Jackson asked Deen whether she even used the N-word, she replied, "Yes, of course," but then added, "It's been a very long time."

The controversy gained steam later this week when she canceled a planned Today show interview with Matt Lauer scheduled for Friday. However, later in the day she issued two video apologies begging for forgiveness.

"Inappropriate, hurtful language is totally, totally unacceptable. I've made plenty of mistakes along the way, but I beg you, my children, my team, my fans, my partners – I beg for your forgiveness. Please forgive me for the mistakes that I've made."