The Word: Paula Deen says ‘of course’ she says the n-word

NASHVILLE, TN - JUNE 09: TV personality/chef Paula Deen attends the 2010 CMT Music Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on June 9, 2010 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN – JUNE 09: TV personality/chef Paula Deen attends the 2010 CMT Music Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on June 9, 2010 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

Does celebrity chef Paula Deen ever use racial slurs? Duh, she says. Doesn’t everyone do that completely normal thing?

Deen recently gave testimony for a deposition in a lawsuit against Deen and her brother, Bubba Hiers, who co-own a seafood restaurant. Lisa Jackson, a former manager at the restaurant, is suing them for sexual and racial discrimination. When asked under oath “Do you ever use the n-word?” Deen responded “Yes, of course.”

Deen was rather vague about when she would have used the word – she says she might have used it when “repeating a conversation between blacks.”

“Things have changed since the ’60s in the south,” she said. “And my children and my brother object to that word being used in any cruel or mean behavior. As well as I do.”

It doesn’t sound like they’ve changed as much as you might expect, though. Jackson claims that Deen told her when they were planning a wedding that she’d like the servers to be “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,” according to MSNBC.

Deen admits that she brought up a restaurant that she admired with a similarly attired all-black staff, but claims she never would have called them the n-word – “because that’s not what these men were. They were professional black men doing a fabulous job.”

Deen is doing a fabulous job too, at being a jaw-dropping, cringe-inducing throwback to an era we thought we’d left behind. Good lord.


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