In June 2013, negative media attention caused TV celebrity Paula Deen to lose her spot on the Food Network and lucrative endorsement deals with retail giants Walmart and Target.
The media flocked towards coverage when news broke that Deen used racial slurs including the N-word, stating that she used the word in the past, but is not a racist. In the weeks after the negative press, Deen released a number of video apologies to the public stating:
“Inappropriate, hurtful language is totally, totally unacceptable. I’ve made plenty of mistakes along the way but I beg you, my children, my team, my fans, my partners — I beg for your forgiveness.”
Many viewers regarded her apologies as awkward and insincere, attracting renewed negative attention. Some viewers showed support for the cooking star, saying that her past should not be held against her. According to The Huffington Post, civil rights leader Rev. Al Sharpton lent support to Deen.
Rev. Al Sharpton’s response:
“A lot of us have in the past said things we have regretted saying years ago. It’s not about her past. She deserves what’s fair, but that’s based on what she’s engaged in now.”
Sharpton added, “You cannot deal with what is fair or not fair until we see an outcome of the present circumstances she is accused of, not something that happened 20 years ago.”
On Sept 14, she made her first public appearance in Texas since the scandal and was on the verge of tears before her fans.
At the “Metropolitan Cooking & Entertaining Show” Deen stated:
“These are tears of joy, y’all, I’ve said all along that the one place I’d want to make my first step back out is Texas. Y’all’s hearts are as big as your state.”
According to The Houston Chronicle, the star received a standing ovation.
Do you feel that the media wrongfully attacked Deen? Do you feel Deen and her public relations team handled this media nightmare accordingly with the YouTube responses?