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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

UPDATE: Paula Deen reportedly cooks up a platter of crispy, Southern-fried racism

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Peanut oil tycoon Paula Deen was recently hit in the face with an accusations-of-racism ham, which came lovingly battered in multiple allegations of workplace discrimination by a former employee. Now, after the lawsuit was allowed to marinate in its own juices for a year, the National Enquirer (via Buzzfeed) has slowly turned up the heat by purporting to have obtained video of Deen’s deposition, in which she admits that “Yes, of course” she’s used “the N-word” that isn’t “No more butter, thanks,” and shares her recipe for a wedding where black servants pretend to be slaves—a recipe that can feed up to a family of six, depending on how many slaves you want to add. But as this is a Paula Deen recipe, you know, go nuts.

“Well what I would really like is a bunch of little n***ers 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. Now, that would be a true Southern wedding wouldn't it? But we can't do that because the media would be on me about that,” the lawsuit quotes Deen as allegedly saying, rightly predicting that the media might somehow put some of its typical “spin” on this. However, according to Deen’s deposition, her idea for topping her brother Bubba’s marriage with a heaping ladle of old-fashioned country racism had a very logical explanation, seeing as that whole Civil War era was just so darn aesthetically pleasing.

[Deen] explained she got the idea from a restaurant her husband and her had dined at saying, “The whole entire waiter staff was middle-aged black men, and they had on beautiful white 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.”


Other things Deen would say are remarks that could be construed as racist jokes, though Deen said they are more accurately described as “just jokes”: “It’s just what they are—they’re jokes…most jokes are about Jewish people, rednecks, black folks… I can’t determine what offends another person,” Deen is quoted as saying, demonstrating a rare misstep for Paula Deen’s otherwise-refined sense of taste. Anyway, these revelations are expected to have deep ramifications for Paula Deen’s many modern, progressive fans, who may now consider looking for more enlightened advice on where to stick butter.

UPDATE: Talking Points Memo has posted the entire transcript of Deen's deposition for your perusal. Of particular note is the fact that Deen denies having used "the N-word" when discussing her plans for a wedding staffed entirely by black servants modeled after Civil War-era slaves. Deen also stresses that, while she has used that word in the past, it was never in "any cruel or mean" way. Rather, she can only specifically recall using it to describe a man who robbed her at gunpoint in 1986 when she was working at a bank, and then less specifically since then in some other context, such as maybe when recounting "a conversation between blacks." And then possibly some other times that she doesn't clearly remember, but they definitely weren't intended to be "mean." Deen's reps further clarified her remarks with a statement saying, "Contrary to media reports, Ms. Deen does not condone or find the use of racial epithets acceptable." Even if they're meant in a nice way.