Was Food Network Right To Not Renew Paula Deen's Contract?
There are two reasons large corporations and famous people settle legal cases they could potentially win before heading to trial. 1) They’d rather pay a small amount of money rather than risk getting the wrong jury and being hit with a huge judgment. 2) They don’t want to be forced to sit for a deposition in which they’ll be put under oath and made to answer any questions the opposing attorney may have, no matter how personal, embarrassing or potentially detrimental to a longer career. Unfortunately, Paula Deen learned the serious downside of that latter possibility earlier this week when her deposition leaked, and she was promptly told by Food Network that her contract would not be picked up.
During her extensive interview with the opposing lawyer, Deen admitted under oath several things that didn’t sit very well with the general public. First, she apparently planned a Civil War era wedding in which she wanted African-Americans dressed up in tuxedos to be the waiters. Second, she admitted to using the n-word on numerous occasions when she was younger. Third, she told the court she sometimes repeats racist jokes. Altogether, it doesn’t exactly paint the sweetest all-time picture of Deen, but beneath the surface, the truth might actually be a little more complicated than that.
Obviously, nothing said during this deposition is worth a gold star, but should it have added up to a fireable offense? Not everyone is in agreement. On the one hand, the whole point of Deen’s shtick on television is that she’s a downhome, easy to get along with mother who welcomes the world into her arms with fattening, delicious foods. She’s supposed to appeal to the everyman and the everywoman, regardless of what race the viewer might be. Obviously, all of this racial shit flies in the face of that southern hospitality and makes her a far less viable television personality. On the other hand, however, very few among us would hold up very well to a mean-spirited and prying deposition. What would you say if a lawyer asked you if you’ve ever told a racist joke? What about if you were asked whether you’d ever used a racial slur while repeating movie dialogue or song lyrics or telling a story?
I’m not the world’s biggest Deen fan, but I still can’t help but think she may have gotten a raw deal here. It’s hard to imagine she got fired over some comments in her personal life when she didn’t say them on television and doesn’t seem to have actually treated anyone negatively because of their race in the past.
What do you think? Should Deen have been fired? Let us know your thoughts by voting in the poll below…
Was Food Network Right Not To Pick Up Her Contract?
For more questions of the day, head here