Former President Jimmy Carter said embattled celebrity chef Paula Deen should be forgiven, arguing that while there's no condoning the racial slurs she uttered, the well-known personality has been candid and apologetic.
"She was maybe excessively honest in saying that she had in the past, 30 years ago, used this terrible word," Carter told CNN's Suzanne Malveaux in an interview Friday. "I think she has been punished, perhaps overly severely, for her honesty in admitting it and for the use of the word in the distant past. She's apologized profusely."
Deen's troubles began about two weeks ago when a deposition in a discrimination lawsuit was released in which she admitted using the n-word in the past. Deen has insisted she does not tolerate prejudice, but her apologies have failed to suppress the controversy.