After being dropped from Food Network and losing most of her African American fan base (whatever size that may have been), Paula Deen is planning her big comeback…and she’s feeling sorrier for herself than ever. On February 27, the celebrity chef compared herself to “that black football player who recently came out,” referring to Michael Sam.
In mid-2013, Deen’s fantasy world crumbled like a too-dry cake when she admitted to using the “n-word” in referring to a Black person (among other problematic actions). Deen took heavy losses when she basically forfeited the majority of her food empire after a lawsuit deposition in which she revealed she had used the offensive term.
The southern chef lost merchandising deals and partnerships with over five prominent Fortune 500 companies, including major retailers Walmart and Target.
In February 2014, Deen announced to a crowd at the South Beach Wine and Food Festival in Miami Beach that she was “back in the saddle.” Her new restaurant and retail store will be located at The Island in Pigeon Forge and will be called “Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen.” According to CNN, the restaurant will have an operating budget of about $20 million.
“If it wasn’t for my fans’ love, I’d be home breathing into a paper bag,” she said in an interview with People Magazine, admitting that during one of her low points, she’d baked eight cakes in six days.
“I feel like ‘embattled’ or ‘disgraced’ will always follow my name. It’s like that black football player who recently came out.”
Wait. Just so we’re clear, calling someone a derogatory racial slur is the equivalent of a Black man coming out in today’s society? Well, Michael Sam…prepare for your career to self-destruct, you poor, gay, black man. For a woman who wants to distance herself from being known as the white lady who was persecuted by the public for using such a slur, you’d think the woman would try and distance herself from using words like “Black” when they aren’t needed for clarification and have no relation to her point. (Obviously, she needs a new PR person and a Media 101 brush-up.)
The self-pitying Deen later added: “He said, ‘I just want to be known as a football player. I don’t want to be known as a gay football player,’” and said she knew how he felt.
Deen told People that she was “fighting to get her name back,” but unless she’s got a punch like Mike Tyson, her efforts may be in vain.
A commenter on Gay Star News made an interesting point when he wrote that, “she thinks she’s a victim of something,” not realizing that Deen actually was a victim—a self-made victim of her own outdated prejudices. Maybe this time around, she’ll keep her fantasy plantation wedding ideas in the family.