Paula Deen Wanted Black Employees to Dress as Slaves (UPDATE)
Paula Deen is falling on her face all over the place today, and we don't think there's a nice cushion of butter waiting there.
Update: After the transcript of Paula's testimony leaked, her rep released a new statement.
"During a deposition where she swore to tell the truth, Ms. Deen recounted having used a racial epithet in the past, speaking largely about a time in American history which was quite different than today," the statement said (via TheWrap).
Yesterday, her rep's statement to E! News was, "Contrary to media reports, Ms. Deen does not condone or find the use of racial epithets acceptable. She is looking forward to her day in court."
Those aren't exactly mutually exclusive, but it does hint a little more toward responsibility. It still, however, doesn't address that Southern plantation wedding everyone's all abuzz about. We'll continue to keep you posted.
Earlier: The report has been confirmed! The transcript of the Paula Deen testimony in question has been made public, and it ain't pretty. Talking Points Memo has the transcript. She says she didn't go through with the all-African American waitstaff dressed in their "theme" uniforms because she was "afraid that somebody would misinterpret." Misinterpret?! Whatever do you mean, Paula? (We're pretty sure someone could interpret that at face value and still take grievous offense.)
Paula still gets her day in court for the behavior that the lawsuit alleges, but as far as things Paula said in the deposition? Nobody made those up except Paula herself, when she was saying them out loud.
White, Southern Food Network star Paula Deen has been gaining a lot of criticism today over reported comments in a video deposition, apparently part of a $1.2 million lawsuit filed against her last year by a former employee over stressful work conditions full of sexual harassment and racial slurs. Reports say that in addition to admitting that "yes, of course" she had used the N-word, it had "been a very long time," adding that she had used the word to describe a black person that held her up at gunpoint in the 1980s, which is not an excuse for using racial slurs.
Even more shocking, though, is the admission that reportedly came next: Paula, when planning an antebellum-themed wedding, wanted her black employees to dress as slaves. She says she got the idea from a restaurant where the servers were all "middle-aged black men, and they had on beautiful black jackets with a black bow tie [...] I mean, it was really impressive. That restaurant represented a certain era in America [...] after the Civil War, during the Civil War, before the Civil War [...] It was not only black men, it was black women…I would say they were slaves.”
It appears that, for now, Paula leaving comments about the incident to her reps, who told E! News, "Contrary to media reports, Ms. Deen does not condone or find the use of racial epithets acceptable. She is looking forward to her day in court."
The lawsuit alleges that various employees of the Paula Deen family of companies (in some cases, Paula herself) made multiple racially and sexually offensive comments. The suit even alleges that at one point, Paula requested servers for a Southern wedding by saying "What I would really like is a bunch of little n****s to wear long-sleeve white shirts, black shorts, and black bow ties, you know in the Shirley Temple days, they used to tap dance around."
It's unclear if this is related to the incident that Paula allegedly mentions in her deposition.
As one would infer from the comments from Paula's camp, the video deposition is still not 100% verified. But this is gaining some long legs, and she'll probably have to respond to this directly eventually.