Paula Deen's accuser says it's not 'about the N-word'
The woman who's suing the celebrity chef says her case is more concerned with the 'abuse of power.'
While much of America is split about whether Paula Deen deserves to have lost high-profile deals from the likes of Food Network and Wal-Mart (WMT), her accuser is seeking to refocus the conversation beyond race.
Deen's business losses came after she admitted in a deposition that she used the N-word, said it was fine that her brother showed pornography to employees at work and that she taught her children it was OK to use the racial slur in a joke. In the aftermath, Deen has lost deals and sponsorships, although she also received one new offer: a six-figure deal to serve as the spokeswoman for a porn site featuring older women.
But the woman who filed the harassment lawsuit against Deen said in a statement to CNN that her legal action "has never been about the N-word."
Instead, Lisa Jackson, a former manager of Deen's restaurants in Savannah, Ga., said the case is about her ex-boss's "abuse of power as a business owner." She's suing Deen and her brother, Bubba Hier, alleging they committed acts of violence, discrimination and racism.
"I may be a white woman, but I could no longer tolerate her abuse of power as a business owner, nor her condonation of Mr. Hier's despicable behavior on a day-to-day basis," Jackson said. "I am what I am, and I am a human being that cares about all races, and that is why I feel it is important to be the voice for those who are too afraid to use theirs."
Some fans continue to support the embattled TV chef, creating a We Support Paula Deen Facebook page and defending her from criticism. Fans have even named July 3 as Paula Deen Appreciation Day.
But Jackson's statement raises another host of questions about Deen as a manager, and those are issues that employees with bosses who prefer sticks to carrots will relate to. In Deen's case, she appears to have not only slathered her stick in butter and sugar but thrown in some alleged racism as well.
Deen may be discovering that such techniques aren't the right ingredients for effective management. As the Harvard Business Review points out in a blog post about leadership, fear "can undermine cognitive potential, creativity, and problem solving, and cause employees to get stuck and even disengage."
Or, in Deen's case, lead to a lawsuit.
Follow Aimee Picchi on Twitter at @aimeepicchi.
So how many times have I heard ,,white trash, honkie or cracker connected to a law suit or loss of sponsorship?
Some things suck but this really SUCKS!
What bothers me the most is that the same week the Paula Deen scandal broke, Serena Williams said in an interview that a Steubenville Ohio rape victim shouldn't have put herself in that position. Where was the outrage over her remark? Not one women's group took offense at that?
Okay, so I get that these big companies don't want to take any risk. But she still has a butt load of fans out there, as shown by how many books fans bought in just the last couple of weeks in a show of support.
So her business life will take a bit of a vacation. Then she'll get some backing - start selling items online... maybe do her own subscription online show. Once she proves the numbers are there, she be back.
And probably with a better deal than before.
Yet Alex Baldwin is still working. And how many embarrassing or degrading things has he blurted out over the last few years?
Or bill Maher... calling women ..nts on the air. Oh, but he's a humorist - so that doesn't count...
Or any rap star...
What are the rules now?
Me, I think destroying her over a word is silly. She apologized. I kinda doubt a single black's life was lost.
Although I use it because it is the current politically correct term...I dislike the term "black", it has too many references to negatives like evil and such and seems there are more brown blacks than black blacks anyway.. "White" doesn't fit either, about the only white whites are albinos. Personally I see nothing wrong with negro. Who proposed "black" as the official term?
wonder how that women who is suing ref "abuse of power" feels when so many people lost and will lost their jobs
because of this lawsuit....
Midgie553 is correct. This is about a hostile work environment and the laws are very clear. If this is her deposition:
"Deen's business losses came after she that she used the N-word, said it was fine that her brother showed pornography to employees at work and that she taught her children it was OK to use the racial slur in a joke."
The key here is showing porno to employees. I work for a major corporation and we have meetings twice a year about harassment and the consequences are your termination. If Paula Deen did nothing as an owner to stop this, then she will be paying out some money. Not enough to harm her personally since I'm sure she is very wealthy.
As Midgie said, Innocent until proven guilty, it will all come out!
IT IS NOT ABOUT THE "N" WORD. Go read the deposition. IF, and this is a BIG IF, the accusations are true that are listed in this deposition, Paula and her brother and his cohorts should be sued. I'm not saying that I believe the lawsuit is true, I'm just saying that you guys are ranting about all the wrong things. This lawsuit is about abuse in the workplace. Whether it is true or not, we'll see. It seems to be a matter of he said/she said. I hope it's not true. Either way, I still support Paula and she should get some sort of punishment if this is true. I do think that all of her monetary losses before the suit has been settled in court is a slap in the face to our justice system. This really sucks, she has not been proven to have done the things Ms. Jackson is accusing her of doing.
Have any of you commenters actually READ Ms. Jackson's lawsuit? It's not simply about Paula's use of the 'N' word - it's about her failure to address MANY issues (i.e. sexual discrimination, sexual harassment, hostile working environment, etc).
If, as Paula claims, she'd said the 'N' word 30 years ago, then she should be forgiven -- PROVIDED that her attitude/mores have since evolved. However, according to the lawsuit, Paula was doing & saying things as late as 2010 (which CLEARLY demonstrates that she's not as LOVING as she claims).
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