Paula Deen was once everyone’s favorite cooking show mom, a pleasant Southern lady who loved good food and wanted you to love it, too. This led to stints on shows like Top Chef, MasterChef, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, and a role in an actual movie, Elizabethtown. But by 2012, the Deen empire had all but crumbled, thanks to its empress being pretty racist.
In 2012, Deen was sued by a former general manager of one of her restaurants, claiming she regularly used racial slurs like the N-word around workers and wanted to stage a Southern-themed wedding with black men playing slaves. In testimony during the trial, the manager’s lawyer asked Deen if she had ever used the n-word before. Deen replied, “Yes, of course.” As for the slave wedding, she admitted to that, too, claiming she got the idea from another restaurant and found the concept “beautiful” and “really impressive.”
Once her statements were verified in district court, the Food Network reacted swiftly, refusing to renew her contract despite her multiple video apologies. She appeared on Dancing With The Stars a couple years later, which is probably the opposite of a comeback. It doesn’t help that, in 2015, she tweeted a (now-deleted) picture of her son in blackface. Either she really doesn’t get it, or she really doesn’t care.