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Bill Maher Doesn’t Think Paula Deen Should Have Been Fired

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Bill Maher is defending Paula Deen. In case you missed it (you lucky son of a bitch), Paula Deen’s been all over the news for making some discriminatory statements and was fired by The Food Network. Bill Maher loves to make people clutch their pearls and drop their monocles, so naturally he debated Deen’s firing, while expressing what almost seemed like a secret desire to use “the n-word” without repercussion. That’s one thing I got from it. Here’s a sum-up of what Maher talked about on his show. From The Atlantic Wire:

This week, Deen was informed her contract wouldn’t be renewed after she apologized for occasionally using “the N-word” and wanting a “Southern plantation style wedding” for her brother. “This may have been a shakedown,” the host told his roundtable of guests. “People may have been trying to shake her down, that happens all the time, so I’m not sure what the original charge is. But she did admit to using the n-word, so the Food Network cut her off…”

[...] Maher thinks that the Food Network overreacted by getting out of the Paula Deen business. “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?” he asked. Hebbert, who is black and was sitting right next to Maher, immediately said no. 

But Maher stood his ground, and argued that the move to fire Deen was another instance of the outrage economy that dominates modern discourse claiming a new victim. “I also think that people shouldn’t have to lose their shows and go away when they do something bad,” he said. Deen clearly did something reprehensible, that isn’t up for debate, Maher says. But he also thinks firing her maybe wasn’t the right thing to do. “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?” Hebbert argued that, yeah, you do have to go away if you’re going to throw “the N-word” around. “It’s a free country, she has the right to say that word. It’s not illegal to say that word. But her boss said, ‘you’ve gotta go if you’re gonna use that word.’” 

I’m gonna agree with Hebbert on this one. 100%.

17 CommentsLeave a comment

  • I sort of agree with Bill. The Food Network should have kept her and let the audience chose whether or not she was worth keeping. If her ratings plummeted after this fiasco then I could understand firing her.

    I know what she said was wrong but I can’t help but feel sorry for her. She seems like a genuinely nice, but ignorant, person.

  • Whether we think what she did was bad enough to get her fired, I definitely wouldn’t want my own reputation tied to her actions. They let it slide once when it came out that she lied about her own health issues while pressing us all to eat unhealthy, high-calorie, fatty foods. The Food Network has a reputation to uphold and were very wise to finally let her go.

    Who knows? If all this dies down years down the line, they may give her another chance.

  • Back in 2001 he lost his ABC show Politically Incorrect for saying the Terrorists were brave for diving into the Twin Towers. It created a media shit storm when it happened. Even if his intent was twisted.

    I think he is knee jerking from his experience defending Paula.

    But he came back and others have also for saying worse.

    Paula is a hypocrite she stayed quiet about having diabetes until a pharmaceutical company paid her to promote their drugs.

    She has enough money to last 100 lifetimes but losing her fame, fans and airtime is the real punishment with these people.

    • “I think he is knee jerking from his experience defending Paula.” that…that is a very interesting point. Good one.

  • I can’t believe I’m saying this, but for once in my life I agree with Bill Maher. She didn’t deserve to lose her job over this. You’re telling me that my 80 year old grandparents who were born and raised in southern Virginia, and who have used (and still do use) the no-no word, deserve to be ostracized? Come on. Old habits die hard, and that type of language is definitely a hard habit to kill for people who grew up in a certain time and place.

      • Deen is a person who was deposed and forced to admit some things she said in private forever long ago. She wasn’t using her program or image to promote racism, which is a hell of a lot more than you can say about many politicians in this country.

    • I’m a black woman and the N word might not bother me as much, but when you say it to hurt someone it hurts to the core!!! If your not black you will never understand. If Paula was black and said the white version of the N word than you wouldn’t be agreeing with Matt!!!!!

      • I don’t know who Matt is. I’ve been called honkey, white bitch, and cracker by black men before, and black women have commented on my “pasty pale” complexion. None of this was said in a joking manner. I seriously don’t give a fuck, though. I’m more bothered by misogyny, as it affects all races and classes.

        Also, two words: Al. Sharpton.

  • I’m not much younger than Paula and I saw it live on T.V. when the hoses were turned on those crowds of people, age 17 and younger. I saw those “policemen” sic those german shepherds on people. I saw (all of this in real time) the kids getting milk shakes and fries and all kinds of crap dumped over their heads when they tried to sit at the counters. I saw people with 2x4s attacking the Freedom Riders as they got off the busses. I saw the attack at the Edmund Pettus bridge. I saw when those 3 civil right’s workers bodies were discovered and hauled out of that damn. Worst of all, I saw what was left of that church where those 4 little girls (one would have been my age now) were blown to bits. My daddy said,”Just think. Those 4 daddies won’t ever see their little girls again.” He hugged me so tight my eyes popped out. I also saw Martin Luther King, Jr. give his speech live on television at the Lincoln Memorial. Paula Deen saw them, too. I was horrified by what I saw and that’s one of the reasons I am a proud Southerner today. Paula Deen makes me sick because she embarrasses our beautiful southland and I am proud that she was given the boot. The sooner she and others like her drop into obscurity the better.

    • Sorry blasted1. All the actions you described were ACTIONS. You’re just another politically correct whiner who wants to criminalize name-calling. Grow up and stop being a PC pantywaist.

    • Thank you for sharing. It’s interesting to hear from someone who saw these things live on tv as they happened. What people are missing is this: it’s not that Paula just used the n word (which NO ONE should use; and I’m certainly including black people here!) It’s how she treated her black employees. She separated dark from light, just like back in slavery times.
      I think she would be better served by going to sensitivity classes. That way she could share her findings with like minded individuals who are trying to overcome their bigotry.

  • wait, this was a deposition with regards to something she said YEARS ago??? who cares?!?!?! we have all said things YEARS ago that we probably shouldn’t have…she even admitted that things are different now and she shouldn’t have said that…so no, in my opinion, she is “reformed” and has learned her lesson and should NOT be fired for that. Incidentally…if Hebbert called her a “Fat Honky”, everyone would think it was hilarious and nothing would happen to him.

  • What about all the black people/performers/artists/singers that use the N word? Why is it okay for them? Why do they get a pass? Shouldn’t they be forced to go away too?

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