The Word: Al Sharpton defends Paula Deen

Food Network personality Paula Deen laughs before throwing out the first pitch prior to the Washington Nationals versus New York Mets MLB baseball game in Washington in this May 19, 2010 file photo.
Paula Deen has an unlikely ally.

After admitting in court that “of course” she’s used the N-word (and joked about gay people and Jews), Paula Deen lost her Food Network show and a number of sponsorship deals. She doesn’t have a lot of people publicly coming to her defense right now. However, she does have one defender who might surprise you: Reverend Al Sharpton. Well, sort of.

Sharpton doesn’t exactly condone the things Deen has said, but he thinks we should judge her on her recent behavior, not ancient history. ”You can’t deal with what is fair and not fair till we see the outcome of the present circumstances she’s accused of … not something 20 years ago,” he told TMZ.

Sharpton of all people should know that running your mouth off can follow you for a long, long time. And it’s certainly true that Deen grew up in a time when people barely knew racism was bad. However, someone who blithely says that “Yes, of course” she’s used the N-word doesn’t seem like she’s caught up with the times.

Deen has already lost her Food Network show, thanks to her amazingly clueless comments about African-Americans (and Jews, and gay people). Now she may lose her QVC deal too.

The home shopping channel features Paula Deen’s Kitchen, an extensive cookware collection. But get that Signature Cast Iron Hoe Cake Pan while you can, because QVC sounds ready to bolt.

“QVC does not tolerate discriminatory behavior. We are closely monitoring these events and the ongoing litigation. We are reviewing our business relationship with Ms. Deen, and in the meantime, we have no immediate plans to have her appear on QVC,” they said in a statement, according to E! Online.



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