In case you haven’t heard, disgraced TV chef Paula Deen is back.
Deen, 67, is being given a second chance by corporate sponsors after she was unceremoniously dumped by the Food Network for being racially naive in these changing times.
“I’ve learned a lot,” said Deen in a cover story of this week’s People magazine.
“I feel like ‘embattled’ or ‘disgraced’ will always follow my name. It’s like that black football player who recently came out,” she said, referring to gay NFL draft prospect Michael Sam.
Deen continued: “He said, ‘I just want to be known as a football player. I don’t want to be known as a gay football player.’ I know exactly what he’s saying.”
Deen admitted to having used the word “nigger” too loosely in the past. She also found enjoyment in dressing her black servants as galley slaves.
But the main thing is that Deen doesn’t get it at all. She lost whatever good name she had through her actions: admitting to having said the word “nigger,” and also, in the often ignored and utterly nauseating part of her scandal, her desire to hold an antebellum-themed wedding for her brother Bubba, in which black servants dressed as slaves. When Michael Sam says, “I just wish you guys would see me as Michael Sam the football player, instead of Michael Sam the gay football player,” he is asking for the very opposite of what Deen is asking for here: to be judged not for what he is, but for what he does. In the court of public opinion, sometimes you pay for your bigotry, but you shouldn’t ever have to pay for your sexuality.
Elsewhere in the story, Deen says on the fallout of her scandal, “When I woke up each morning, it was like my world was crashing down again.” Aw. “I think twice about a joke,” she says, the poor thing. Can you even imagine, having to think about your words?
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