Paula Deen: 'I Is What I Is'
Defends herself on 'Today' show
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Jun 26, 2013 7:38 AM CDT
Updated Jun 26, 2013 10:56 AM CDT
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(Newser) – In her much-anticipated Today show appearance this morning, Paula Deen told Matt Lauer she doesn't even know whether the N-word is offensive to black people. "I have asked myself that so many times," she explained before going on to blame kids these days. "I go into my kitchens and hear what these young people are calling each other ... it’s very distressing for me. I think for this problem to be worked on, these young people are gonna have to take control and start showing respect for each other and not [throw] that word at each other. It makes my skin crawl." Needless to say, she also denied being a racist, and said that Food Network shouldn't have fired her.

She also claimed she only used the N-word once (a switch from what she said during the deposition), while describing a 1986 incident in which a black man held her at gunpoint. "I is what I is, and I'm not changing," declared a sobbing Deen. Amusingly, the Wall Street Journal reports that the Food Network may have given Deen the boot regardless of the whole brouhaha: Her contract ends Sunday, and her agent has been negotiating an extension for weeks and still hadn't resolved the matter before this controversy erupted. The reason behind the uncertainty? A big ratings dip over the past season. Plus, more bad news for Deen: TMZ reports that the Caesars casino company is severing ties with her, closing all four of her restaurants and then re-opening them with different branding. Not surprisingly, the New York Post reports that Deen has hired a top "crisis PR guru."

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Jun 27, 2013 10:35 AM CDT
While growing up in the sixties, I was so very lucky to have educated parents that I never heard utter one single racist comment and admonished those that did....they were children had the same experience.....Childhood experiences make us what we are.....I am guessing Paula didn't have the same experience and what she considers appropriate needs to be seriously updated...she has not evolved to the place my parents were 50 plus years ago......
Jun 27, 2013 8:55 AM CDT
Here's what baffles me: if Dean found it "distressful" listening to the young employees of her business using the N word why didn't she confront them head on and tell them as long as they were employed by her, this language will not be tolerated? Instead, by not saying anything she is condoning the language.
Jun 26, 2013 9:29 PM CDT
I have read some of the comments regarding the Republicans wearing hoods. If you research history, you will discover the KKK was the Democratic party!!! The same party that encourages the slave mentality by depending on the government. As for Paula, she used a word she was comfortable using around her peers. Those who use, sit and listen and not speak against someone who uses the N"# word is equally guilty. After she works with the "fix it" expert, we will know it because she will stop all that fake crying and speaking poor grammar. Paula knows better. She thinks the public is stupid. Paula admitted she spoke the word on other occasions. Own it Paula and move on!! Her sons couldn't even defend her because of her deposition. Lastly, Paula needs to apologize to those who were offended in the situation and forgive herself for getting caught.