Today's Evil Beet Gossip
Paula Deen

Boo Hoo, Someone Tried To Extort Paula Deen

paula deen 170112

A crime is a crime is a crime, I suppose, whether that be rampant racial discrimination or attempting to extort someone over information of more heinous behaviour you know of, so I suppose it’s only right that Thomas Paculis was arrested by the FBI for demanding $250,000 in exchange for keeping mum on some “true and damaging” stories he had on Paula Deen.

From TMZ:

According to a federal criminal complaint filed in the Southern District of Georgia on June 24, Deen’s attorney went to the FBI after Deen received an email and follow up phone call from a man named Thomas Paculis.

The complaint claims Paculis threatened to go to the media with information he claimed with bring hardship and financial ruin to Deen.

According to the FBI, Paculis’ email to Deen’s attorney read, “I am about to go public with statements refuting your clients statements about using the ‘N’ word in her business practices at Lady and Son’s … The statements are true and damning enough that the case for Jackson will be won on it’s merit alone.”

The email went on to say there is a price for such information and urged Deen’s attorney to contact him.

I mean, you can’t just extort people like that, bro. At the same time, when he gets out of the slammer he should still make his statements, should they be based on truth (and given Paula Deen’s love of good ole southern racism, they probably are). But anyway, hasn’t Paula Deen lost enough now? (That’s a rhetorical question, by the way.) She’s just a kind-hearted old white lady who doesn’t know any better!

O.J. Simpson And Paula Deen Are BFF

OJ Simpson nordberg naked gun

Paula Deen is losing endorsements all over the damn place, but one thing she isn’t losing is her friendship with O.J. Simpson. Yes, apparently she and O.J. are BFF. Because nothing gets you out of a jam like a thumbs up from O.J. Simpson.

From National Enquirer (an exclusive!):

Simpson’s manager, Norm Pardo, told The ENQUIRER: “Many people will be surprised to hear that O.J. thinks Paula is great, and he’s in her corner on this issue.

The two fallen stars bonded years ago, when O.J. stopped by Paula’s restaurant in Savannah, Ga., and enjoyed a special feast that the Southern kitchen queen prepared just for him.

And The ENQUIRER has obtained a videotape of the meal, which shows how the two hit it off in the days before Paula was famous.

I would say (sarcastically) I’m sure this will thrill Paula’s people, but considering that she fired her agent, was fired by The Food Network, and just lost Target, she has no people. Is Deen desperate enough to play her one and only “but my friend is black” card if that friend is O.J. Simpson?

The Fun Continues: Target Drops Paula Deen, Too

paula deen

Just in case you forgot: Paula Deen‘s a racist and the Food Network, Walmart, Smithfield ham, Caesars Entertainment Corp and now Target want nothing to do with her. Oopsies. Target announced yesterday that they’ll begin phasing out her products and will cut all ties with Paula. Here’s their statement:

“We have made a decision to phase out the Paula Deen merchandise in our stores as well as on Target.com. Once the merchandise is sold out, we will not be replenishing inventory.”

Damn, I wonder if they’ll put it on clearance. I could use a few new pans. I kid.

I’d probably start to feel bad for Paula if her reps didn’t announce yesterday that the demand for her cruise – yes, people want to go on a Paula Deen-themed cruise – was so high that they’ve added a second voyage. That’s right: for a few thousands dollars, you too could join other white people who really love being white and love saying the n-word as they sail around this beautiful planet.Hilariously, the cruises are held on Royal Caribbean vessels, but they’re bugging out and want to make it known that they’ve got nothing to do with Paula personally.

“Royal Caribbean has never had a partnership or any formal association with Paula Deen,” says Cynthia Martinez, the company’s director of global corporate communications. “She has sailed with our brands a couple of times, but as host of group cruises, and each time, the groups were booked through a specific travel agency, not through Royal Caribbean.” (via USA Today)

Haha! I mean, look, I do think we have bigger fish to fry on this planet than to make Paula Deen out to be the devil. She’s not, of course, but her willful ignorance should be punished, and it is, so that’s that. At the end of the day, she’s not really suffering, though – you can see how many people still support her bullshit, so I think she’ll be just fine.

Paula Deen Dropped by Walmart, Caesars Entertainment Corp After Racial Admission

paula deen

Paula Deen‘s life is sorta falling apart since she admitted to being a bit of a racist. She was fired by Food Network and Big Ham, and now she’s also been dropped by Walmart and her restaurants will have to be rebranded following Caesar’s Entertainment Corporation’s decision to drop the four Deen-themed restaurants they were running. Oopsies!

Here’s Caesars Entertainment Vice President Jan Jones Blackhurst’s statement about their decision to stop working with Paula:

“While we appreciate Paula’s sincere apologies for statements she made in her past that she recently disclosed during a deposition given in response to a lawsuit, after thoughtful consideration of their impact, we have mutually decided that it is in the best interests of both parties to part ways at this time.”

As for Walmart, they’ll stop selling Paula’s products in their stores and won’t order any more, with a spokesperson for the company adding, “We will work with suppliers to address existing inventories and agreements.” Damn. If even redneck ass Walmart won’t work with you, you know you’re in trouble.

Here’s the thing: I don’t believe that anyone should be vilified over a single comment – of course not. The issue here is that Paula Deen did not just make a single comment based on the fact that she’s old/Southern/whatever. She glorified a period of history- wanting to hire black “slaves” to be servers at a white wedding because, you know, slavery was so quaint and all – that was not a great part of American history. And for those wanting to play the “she doesn’t know any better” card, please remember that Paula Deen isn’t living in some backwoods, podunk redneck town with a single phone line in the single, dusty town shop with no access to the outside world. She is a national public figure and businesswoman who just does not have the luxury of feigning ignorance on this.

If you need further “evidence” of her blatant disregard for exactly how terrible her attitude is, she appeared on The Today Show on Wednesday to play the victim (see gif above) and literally uttered the following sentence: “I is who I is and I’m not changing.” Well, that’s… refreshing? Not to mention that she literally blamed everyone but herself for her attitude, claiming that kids throw “the n-word” around amongst each other and it makes her skin crawl (so… she uses it regularly herself?) and that the only reason all of this is happening is because someone saw her success and was hell-bent on destroying it. I CANNOT. It’s hard to feel bad for someone who literally refuses to take any responsibility for what they’ve done – and don’t get me started on her “apology”. She was sorry she got called out, NOT for what she did.

Paula Deen Continues To Lose Endorsements For Being an Unrepentant Racist

paula deen

The fall out from Paula Deen‘s unabashed racism still ain’t over! You might think since she lost her deal with Food Network (which has many a white folk up in arms) and has been publicly shamed despite her insistence that she’s just “from another time” when I guess referring to black people by racist terms was a-okay, she’d fade into the background. But oh no! She hasn’t lost everything just yet, so we’ve got to watch it all unfold.

The latest sponsor to drop Paula on her ass is Smithfield – you know, the ham people. Paula has had a major endorsement deal with Smithfield Foods for the past few years and has raked in quite a bit of cash from the deal, but the brand has now cut all ties with her.

From The New York Times:

Smithfield Foods, whose hams and other products Ms. Deen has endorsed since 2006, severed its relationship with her Monday. Smithfield, the world’s largest pork producer, has been the flagship in Ms. Deen’s collection of at least 17 licensing and endorsement partnerships.

At issue is Ms. Deen’s admission in a court deposition that she has used racial slurs and jokes that denigrate blacks.

“Smithfield condemns the use of offensive and discriminatory language and behavior of any kind,” Keira Lombardo, a Smithfield spokeswoman, said in a statement Monday. “Smithfield is determined to be an ethical food industry leader and it is important that our values and those of our spokespeople are properly aligned.”

Word up. QVC is also re-thinking their relationship with Paula, though I’m not sure what there is to think about. The woman is a racist asshole – seems pretty cut and dry to me. Here’s the thing: public companies like this need to cut their ties with her now – even though some of them probably think what she said is actually not all that bad – to save their own reputations and also to show that IT’S NOT OKAY TO TREAT PEOPLE LIKE THAT, OR TO USE THAT KIND OF LANGUAGE. Mostly the latter. Or, you know, entirely the latter.

Don’t feel too bad for Paula, though – there are still plenty of fellow racists that’ll go to her disgusting restaurant and support her, so she won’t go broke anytime soon.

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

drewdraws.blogspot.com

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%.

Paula Deen Posts Apology Video, Removes It, Flakes On The Today Show, Is Fired By Food Network

Paula Deen butter comedy central

Paula Deen must have realized (or was told) that her apology for her racist statements really sucked, so she made an apology video, posted it in YouTube…and then made it “private”, essentially taking the video down. Regardless of her attempts, The Food Network fired her.

Deen got a little Bynes-y and posted 2 more videos. According to the New York Times, in her apology video take 2, “she appeared more composed”. She also posted a video apologizing to Matt Lauer for flaking out on her Today show appearance set for this morning. Here’s what the NY Times is saying about the Today situation:

In a third video on YouTube, Ms. Deen apologized to Matt Lauer, the host of “Today,” for skipping a scheduled exclusive interview earlier in the day.She had agreed to the interview, extensively promoted by NBC News, to address the uproar generated by her deposition.

Clearly upset by her absence, Mr. Lauer told viewers that Ms Deen had spoken with him on Thursday, agreed to an “open and candid” discussion, flown to New York City — but in the morning, had her representatives cancel, citing exhaustion. “We just found out she’s a no-show,” he wrote on Twitter. “Hoping to get more info on the Paula Deen situation soon. Very confusing.”

After she apologized online to Mr. Lauer, a “Today” spokeswoman said the program was working to reschedule the interview.

Are you telling me that Paula Deen took the easy and cowardly way of disappearing instead of taking responsibility for her actions? That is so unlike her. How weird.

As for her apologies, here are some select quotes from both videos:

I want to apologize to everybody for the wrong that I’ve done. I want to learn and grow from this. Inappropriate and hurtful language is totally, totally unacceptable.

[...]

Your color of your skin, your religion, your sexual preference does not matter. I was wrong, yes, I’ve worked hard, and I have made mistakes but that is no excuse and I offer my sincere apology to those that I have hurt, and I hope that you forgive me because this comes from the deepest part of my heart.

That is a much, much better apology than the statement her camp released yesterday, but it’s still too late, at least for The Food Network. They opted not to renew her contract in June. Anthony Bourdain is probably so psyched about all of this.