Paula Deen Jokes About Deceased Chef

Critics say comment on Carl Ruiz's death was tasteless
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 25, 2019 10:10 AM CDT

Paula Deen is feeling the heat for a comment she made following the sudden death of celebrity chef Carl Ruiz. Deen, 72, discussed her new cookbook Paula Deen's Southern Baking in a Monday interview on The Big J Show, aired by Montana's Hot 101.9, before host Jason Harris asked if she was familiar with 44-year-old Ruiz, a Food Network star. "No, I'm not, but I'm so sorry to hear that. You know, they say the restaurant business will kill you," Deen replied, laughing heartily at her joke. "No pun intended," she added.

Harris acknowledged "it's a tough business" before quickly moving on. Social media users were less tactful, per AOL and USA Today, which each round up critical comments. "Your tasteless (pun intended) comment shows a lack of class and heart," one Twitter user writes. Others said Deen was again speaking without thinking after she admitted to using racial slurs in 2013. Walmart was among the companies to cut ties with Deen in the aftermath. However, it was the first outlet to offer Deen's new book. (More Paula Deen stories.)

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