I'm going to use your sidenote as my frontnote/jumping-off point . . .
Yep, I was THROUGH with Paula after Diabetesgate.
IMO, you are absolutely correct when you say that had she been up-front --- THEN --- and had her legions of followers' best interests in mind and at heart --- THEN --- she could have moved her empire into a healthier direction, and achieved even greater success.
But she chose NOT to do that.
And I STILL SMH sometimes at the fact that even HER BOSSES AT the FN didn't know a THING about her diagnosis. They'd put her on the map, paid her out the wazoo, provided shows for her kids, etc., and they STILL had to find this out at the same time as all the REST of us Great Unwashed. And her diagnosis, from what I can recall at this particular second, came between two and three years BEFORE the crap with her medical situation hit the fan in the early part of '12, and she had to go public with that news. AND she had been receiving treatment for it on the down-low during all that time, IIRC, too!
AND SHE WAS STILL DOING COOKING SHOWS WITH BUTTER AND SUGAR FLYING THROUGH THE AIR, ALL THE WHILE!!!!!
WHAT A LACK OF MORALS AND CHARACTER!
Bluntly, had she stepped forward --- before she was FORCED forward --- and put the info out there on her condition, THEN spun it so that because of how things NOW stood with her health, she was going to take us all on an adventure in revamped, HEALTHY-yet-still-delicous Southern cooking, I'd've still been willing to've hung in there with her.
After all, most people CAN'T stay pissed at someone who ADMITS they've stepped in it, and are working like the devil trying and doing their dead-level BEST to clean up the mess they've tracked around.
Now, fast forward to June of '13 . . .
The smoke signals start when it gets out that --- out of her OWN MOUTH, and taken down verbatim for time and all eternity in a freaking DEPOSITION in a lawsuit filed against her! --- that she's let the n-word fly, before, OF COURSE! And so on. And seems to have NO remorse and offer NO SINCERE apologies for ever having done so.
At least, not any remorse or apologies that were duly noted in that transcript, that is.
Then, she abruptly cancels a Today Show appearance. Then, she puts out not one, but TWO seemingly "A'hm only doin' this 'cause mah people done tole me ah HAD tew!" mea culpa video "apologies".
Then, she gets canned. Then she loses a sponsor.
In the meantime, current and former employees are coming forward (BESIDES the one who started the ball rolling, in the first place), saying that something in the milk was DEFINITELY not clean for employees at her restaurants.
We ALL know quite a few of the ugly details of those various unclean statements and happenings, at this point.
And so on, and so forth, until, now, there's a full-out hell-on-earth inferno going, and Paula has well and TRULY been transformed into the nation's #1 Crispy Critter because of it.
Sorry, but I'm not shedding any tears over her OR her present state of affairs.
And will NOT be, either.
Because, like a few other posters have noted, far as I'm concerned, SHE was the one who made her bed, so let her lie in it. If her sheets in that bed have holes, are filthy and stink to high heaven, too bad, so sad. SHE'S the one who chose NOT to try to wash and repair her bedclothes.
Just as ignorance of the law isn't a viable excuse, to say that she's a Southern woman from a different time is no excuse in this particular case, either, IMO. Ignorance is one thing. But when you know better, you DO better. You DON'T go around contributing to evil societal problems by continuing to throw dirt like this around and thinking or assuming you're supposed to be --- or are GOING to be --- granted a "bye" because of the era of time that you originated in.
I'm Southern, too. I grew up in Atlanta not only hearing the n-word publicly fly around, but having it flung at me in public, as well. I grew up seeing "White Only" and "Colored Only" signs on water fountains. I grew up as a child of about seven years old going on a visit to the family doctor with my grandmother, and the two of us being placed in a closet-sized room on a wooden bench to wait our turn to be seen (and having the door closed on us in there while we waited), while the white patients were seated out front in the "normal" waiting room that seemed to me what a living room in a mansion somewhere must look like. I grew up as one of a group of black students to integrate a formerly "Whites Only" high school (where the school mascot was "The Rebels") in eighth grade. The tension was so thick you could cut it with a knife each day because the specter of a possible race war loomed over the building as we felt each other out and attended classes. It never happened, thank God, but yep, it was touch-and-go tension every day until everybody figured out that we were all just PEOPLE, and we were left to our own devices.
Racism is still alive, well and living in this state. Right today, there are cities and places I choose not to go here because I KNOW I'm still not wanted.
Is it right?
But, OTOH, it wouldn't be right of me to refer to anybody white as a c-word because of that, either. Or to use the n-word (or any other racial epithet) around or among my family or friends (regardless of race). Or to sit by and tolerate the use of any of those words in my presence without speaking up and making my objections known, immediately. Or to listen to and laugh at so-called "jokes" about ANY race in my presence, and not call the speaker out on it.
And so on.
Over the years, I've learned and know better, therefore, I DO better.
So, what is PAULA DEEN'S excuse?
Far as I'm concerned, she doesn't HAVE one.
Now, let her take her $16-$$17 mil net worth and go redecorate her Savannah mansion, or something.
I am so sorry to read this ness- it makes me so sad. :(Quote:
Racism is still alive, well and living in this state. Right today, there are cities and places I choose not to go here because I KNOW I'm still not wanted
I read every word of your post, ness and give you a standing ovation. You have a wonderful way of expressing yourself and I agree. The best thing she can do now is just disappear. I'm sure her fans will continue to support whatever books/cookware she continues to push, but I sincerely hope she just retires from public life.
Ness, your post is right on. You have a wonderful way with words. I'm so sorry that the terrible experiences you had in your childhood were so hurtful. I'm also Southern, but hate discrimination. The fact that it still goes on is inexcusable. Paula Dean has only herself to blame for her demise. I will not feel sorry for her.
Interesting interview with Matt Lauer this morning. She doesn't even seem slightly credible. Ridiculous, is more like it. 'Bothersome' would be the word. I recorded the interview, and I will have to rewatch it with new eyes a little later. I am just not feeling her. I've tried to give her the benefit of the doubt, but this interview is not helpful. Maybe Dr. Phil is right; the days of "benefit of the doubt" are over.
Paula has tuned up her face and whimpered and mewled, and not a tear has fallen.....but that didn't seem to be from lack of trying. It didn't seem that Matt was buying what she was selling, either. If you didn't see the interview, you really should. :ohno
Excellent post ness.
Matt did a pretty good job with the interview. He kept bringing her back to the facts. I would have liked him to address some things her employees said, especially about her brothers wedding. He may have stayed away from that because it is hearsay and she would have denied it anyway.
She was dramatic, maudlin (understatment) and lied. She claimed she said the N word only once when she had a gun to her head in the bank. Matt addressed her answer "of course" but didn't stick with it and I wish he would have.
I have never liked her but didn't know much about her. Well, I found out this morning. What a phony mess.
Now was the time for her to be humble, honest and own her past behavior/words and apologize, claiming she now sees the light and has changed or something to that effect. Nope, she insisted she was a good person and did nothing wrong. Nothing authentic about this woman. I did not hear one genuine word from her lips.
She did a lot to hurt herself further this morning. Terrible display. She got bad advice from her PR person or ignored it.
Never saw the interview this morning but just wanted to comment about how irritating I found Paula's sons to be. Of course I expect them to defend their mother but out and out claiming this is a witch hunt and character assassination is nothing more than an attempt to paint her as the victim, which of course she is not in this case.
These people don't have a humble bone in their collective bodies. If Paula's sons weren't going to say anything useful, or anything to help paint her as genuinely remorseful then the right thing for them to have done would have been to keep their mouths shut.
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"I is what I is". That says it all right there.
It bugged me when she passed the blame by saying people were upset that she worked hard to become successful and would do anything to bring her down. Take some damn responsibility.
I watched the interview, and had two key impressions. First, I think Paula has fallen victim to a very common pitfall of fame - believing she is so powerful she can control what people think of her. I think she figures that if she tells people what her image is, she'll believe it, and that's enough. I don't think that is uncommon to celebrities who are surrounded by a bunch of people who agree with them and promote them all the time. But I think that explains why she thought this would work. Second, I think that Matt Lauer is viewing this interview as a way to fix HIS image. After the Ann Curry mess, he's had his own problems to face. He knew a lot of people would be watching this, and I think he knew if he was too tough on her, it would add to his image of being a jerk - especially towards women.