Paula Deen’s Controversial Comeback: How She Survived Scandal and Returned to TV

Paula Deen’s Controversial Comeback: How She Survived Scandal and Returned to TV

Paula Deen’s Controversial Comeback: How She Survived Scandal and Returned to TV

In 2013, Paula Deen found herself in a very sticky situation. A former employee accused her of using racial slurs and making other racially insensitive comments. Lisa Jackson, a woman who worked as the general manager of a restaurant owned by Deen and her brother, filed a lawsuit against Deen citing racial and sexual discrimination as the cause. During the legal proceedings, Paula Deen admitted that she’d used the N-Word, but the case was ultimately dismissed. Prior to the lawsuit, Deen had been seen as a sweet old southern lady who could throw down in the kitchen. Afterward, however, people all over the country were giving her the side-eye.

Initially, it seemed like the whole ordeal would negatively impact Deen’s career – and for a while, it did. However, nearly a decade later, Paula Deen has managed to stay in the spotlight and there are a lot of people who are wondering how. Keep reading for more on how Paula Deen managed to keep herself on TV.

Unraveling the Dismissal of the Lawsuit

Okay, so now that we’ve established that Paula Deen admitted to using the N-Word, you’re probably wondering why the lawsuit was dismissed. First, we should probably take a look at exactly what claims were made in the suit. According to Fisher Phillips, Jackson’s lawsuit” racial discrimination and sexual harassment. In pursuing her claims, the former employee made numerous allegations of racial comments made by Deen and Deen’s brother, as well as allegations of racially discriminatory treatment against black employees and sexual harassment against Jackson by Deen’s brother.” Despite providing specific examples to support some of her allegations, Lisa’s lawsuit was ultimately dismissed because she wasn’t black. Therefore, Deen’s lawyer argued that she couldn’t possibly have been the victim of racial discrimination towards Black people.

Deen and Jackson ultimately reached a settlement although the terms were never released. After the incident, Lisa Jackson made a public statement essentially apologizing to Deen. She stated, “I assumed that all of my complaints about the workplace environment were getting to Paula Deen, but I learned during this matter that this was not the case. The Paula Deen I have known for more than eight years is a woman of compassion and kindness and will never tolerate discrimination or racism of any kind toward anyone.”

Jackson’s apology was a very sharp contrast from her original claims. This led people to believe that making a public apology was part of the settlement she and Deen agreed to.

Paula Deen’s Career Resilience

Even though the lawsuit was dismissed, the damage to Deen’s career had already been done. As you can imagine, admitting that she said the N-Word wasn’t a good look for her. While she initially lost sponsorships and business opportunities, it wasn’t long before Deen was back in the spotlight. In fact, she did such a good job of painting herself as an innocent elderly woman that people actually started feeling bad for her. After all, Paula Deen was born and raised in the segregated south, so that gives her a pass, right? Most people would agree the answer is no. However, networks clearly didn’t feel that way.

In 2015, when she returned to TV as a contestant on Dancing With The Stars, it seemed all had been forgiven. Since then, she has consistently been on TV. She currently hosts three shows and has been a guest star on MasterChef: Legends. Outside of her initial acknowledgement of saying the N-Word, Deen hasn’t apologized for her behavior.

Public Opinion on Paula Deen’s Comeback

Paula Deen may be back in corporate America’s good graces, but lots of people don’t feel the same. Many people have taken to social media to discuss their disappointment in her still having a career. This became even truer after her appearance on MasterChef: Legends.

A Twitter user named JoshMandel said, “@MasterchefonFox@MasterChefOn I’ve been watching Masterchef and Masterchef Jr. for many years, but I simply can’t stomach you highlighting admitted racist Paula Deen. I’ve decided to skip the show this season. I hope that next season you’ll show some dignity and sensitivity.” Another user named Kelsey27876090 also said, “Is anyone else uncomfortable that Paula Deen in on Masterchef without acknowledging or apologizing for being a racist? Like, not cool.”M

Meaww even wrote an article noting that having Paula Deen guest start on MasterChef: Legends was a mistake. As far as we know, no one from the show has commented on her being asked to do the episode. Lately, there’s been a lot of huffing and puffing about cancel culture. But Paula’s store is proof that people usually don’t really ever get cancelled.

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