June 28th, 2013
06:30 PM ET
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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.

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Filed under: Celebrity Chefs • Paula Deen • Video

soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. Creepy ass cracker

    Paula Deen is a democrat and good friend of Jimmy Carter. Her son is also gay. Therefore she should be exempted of negative repercussions that come with being a white person making racial comments.

    July 2, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
  2. TobyK

    I agree with Mr. Carter re: letting the dust settle. The apologies/reasons for what has happened have been stated (and restated and overstated). I'm truly tired of hearing more about this whole unfortunate situation.

    July 1, 2013 at 10:34 am |
    • Arden Carpenter

      Yup, let the dust settle is right, media should shut up about it all, heard enough of it, Paula needs time to think and get herself prepared to take the next step of how to bounce back, she said enough, the media said enough, I will find her again, because I want to and believe in Paula.

      July 1, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
  3. carolinagirl

    I thought this was about "workplace" discrimination and the name calling was one item amongst 15 or more allegations that got lost in emotions.

    July 1, 2013 at 12:27 am |
  4. mythsdreams

    I have the greatest respect and admiration for Pres. Carter but I disagree with him about Paula Deen. I think she should retire and take all she represents with her. Besides her racist attitude she has profited off off unhealthy recipes and drug endorsements while hiding her disease. When given the chance to explain herself all we heard was self pity. I'm sorry but enough is enough. Her light has deemed from her own undoing so let's have someone who cooks healthy food and hasn't sold her soul to the devil.

    June 30, 2013 at 7:35 pm |
  5. WWJD in This Life

    I find the whole situation disturbing. Paula Deen said something 27 years ago and being punished for it now. She's being sued by a revengeful, money hungry, past employee and the lawsuit has not even been determined. What's more disgusting is that the media has run this story into the ground until it made the entire world mad and divided. How is that responsible journalism?

    It's disgusting because it's a word that the black culture use on an everyday basis. You can't get rid of racism if the black culture continues to use the "N" word themselves. You can't get rid of racism if you can't logically process the facts that Paula Deen, out of fear and anger, said a word after having had a gun held to her head during a bank robbery. I probably would have said more than she did as would a lot of you.

    It's unfair that companies who's political stance and who have their own racial bias cut ties with Paula Dean. Maybe each business should clean up their own backyard before they start judging someone elses. Each business now showed the whole world that it's not ok to make mistakes (27 years ago) and the world should not use forgiveness and that you should never tell the truth (as Paula Dean did in a deposition).
    What a great example of Business Core Values!

    What really disgusts me...Is Paula Dean said a WORD...but people like Michael Vick hurt, abused, and had dogs raped by other dogs and objects. Yet Michael Vick was admitted back into the NFL and is praised and worshiped daily.

    What really disgusts me...Is Paula Dean said a WORD....but there are more serious issues in the world like violent criminals that still walk the streets raping women and children. There are terrorists trying to destroy America. There's an economic crisis in the forefront and you all worry about a WORD. It's only a WORD.
    Priorities are out of alignment.
    What would Jesus do? I'll tell you..Jesus will make sure Paula Dean is just fine and ok!

    By the way...Have you all ever listened to any rap songs where the "N" word is used every other word. Where the songs promote violence, drugs, and guns? Hmmm...

    One of these days, my sister and I want to eat Paula's Thanksgiving FEAST! Sit down and drink lemonade with Paula and have a good ol down home conversation while sitting on the back porch in a rocking chair...WE LOVE YOU PAULA!

    June 30, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
    • Arden Carpenter


      June 30, 2013 at 11:33 pm |
  6. the sauce king of savannah ga and the world

    hello to all in the royal kingdom !!! i have been a friend and done business with her in savannah ga and its home to the king !! living in the south and from being from the north is a different world . no one wants to do anything to hurt anyones feelings ...not i or ms paula deen!!! wake up and look and hear what has been said in movies and on tv by the vice pres when he said its a big F_ _ KING deal about the new health insurance ....yes that hurt me and my grand childern or any childern and he is still getting a pay check and no one is calling him any names .. get a life and understand things happen and being honest is the only way to live ...mrs clinton was asked about the deaths of the office personal and she even said under oath that what does it matter ....and look at congress and the rich and famous of the usa and other countrys.... wake up and see she was honest and stright forward and said what is the truth ...would you not want a honest answer or a lie as we get each day from around the counrty ? i want a honest answer and deal with it and go on ....then a lie !!! from the king

    June 29, 2013 at 8:13 pm |
    • jazzguitarman

      Private companies can hire or fire the spokesperson they feel suits them. The people you mention are voted into office. They can only be removed if voted out of office (unless they do something they can be impreached for).

      June 29, 2013 at 8:16 pm |
  7. tbc58

    She has apologized enough. I hope she does NOT go on Oprah or Piers Morgan with Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson. It is ridiculous when a celebrity says something they shouldn't have and show up on every talk show on TV, begging for forgiveness! #TeamPaulaDeen #Strong4Paula @WeSupportPDeen

    June 29, 2013 at 5:50 pm |
    • jazzguitarman

      If even some of the charges in the lawsuit are true, Deen and her company are in a lot of trouble. But I agree it would be best for Deen to just go away for a while. Her attempts at explaining herself just backfire.

      June 29, 2013 at 8:27 pm |
  8. justcallmetruth

    I wish jimmy carter would shut the hell up. I wish Paula Deen would shut the hell up. Then maybe CNN would shut the hell up.

    News anyone?

    June 29, 2013 at 5:09 pm |
    • jazzguitarman

      Is is news when companies drop the 4th highest paid chef in the USA. Yes, the media made something out of nothing with regards to the 'n' word but the lawsuit Deen and her brother are facing is real news. But yea, Deen should stay out of the media since each time she has tried to address this she digs herself a bigger hole.

      June 29, 2013 at 8:18 pm |
  9. Thomas Adkins

    In the last few weeks i have sat and listened to all the comments on the answers that ms dean made . As a baby boomer i think that if all of us in that era would stick together and boycott all the big corporate chains that have backed out after the fall out we could make a difference on how they look at things in the future. Im a small business owner in corporate america so please look close at what big corporate america can do to upset our lives in small town america. THANK YOU, Please think when you want to by products support your local small business

    June 29, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
    • jazzguitarman

      I support the decision of the companies that have dropped Deen. Avoiding controversy is PR 101 and the only logical choice they could make was to drop Deen. But I do support small businesses and avoid supporting corporations as much as I can.

      June 29, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
  10. Arden Carpenter

    Why cancel her cookbook, I was looking forward to it as many other woman were. Shame on the publisher to decide on what the public wants, they were getting plenty of money to publish it. A lot of nutty people around these days. There are other publishers around that will gladly take her money.

    June 29, 2013 at 10:44 am |
    • jazzguitarman

      Deen is free to find another publisher. The publisher has a right to decide who they wish to be assocaited with. They decided they didn't wish to be associated with Deen. I fail to see how that is a nutty decision. In fact it is PR 101. Deen is tainted goods. Now it may be true that Deen has been unfairly tainted, but in standard PR that doesn't matter. Companies just need to distance themselves from controversy. Period.

      June 29, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
  11. Arden Carpenter

    I support Paula, she has suffered enough for a stupid remark she made which never intended to offend anyone , she is not a raciest. I love her products and will continue to search to find them, I hope she will use the internet for all us women who love her ideas in the kitchen, she is like family to many of us. She raised a wonderful family and is a good person. How many of us have used a word that may offend someone? The stores that dropped her rushed to judgment just like they did with Martha Stewart, Martha is such a smart woman and I love her products also. Maybe her sponsors should have taken a poll to see how many people may not support their station or store now. Makes me angry. Freedom of speech is out the window and no one should make mistakes because they won't be forgiven ?

    June 29, 2013 at 10:39 am |
    • jazzguitarman

      What is going on here is freedom in action. Freedom of the market place. These companies have the freedom to decide who they do business with. They have decided NOT to do business with Deen.

      Deen was free to say what she wanted, these companies are free to make their choies, and consumers are free to decide if they wish to support Deen or not.

      You make it sound like celebrity spokesperson are entitled to the job they want. NOT.

      June 29, 2013 at 3:36 pm |
      • Arden Carpenter

        Yes, these companies have a right to drop her even after Paula S items made them money, she is strong and will find other places to sell her products, I will be looking for those places. I wish someone would have the guts to stand behind her , the ones that made money off her.She and her sons are fine people, don't deserve the punishment of losing her whole career on TV , she will come back just like Martha Stewart did.

        June 30, 2013 at 11:35 am |
  12. Brenda Starr

    Well the media is twisting the story to divide and cause a stir because the real reason she is being dropped is because of her own sworn testimony regarding unethical business practices such as allowing porn, filthy language and discriminating sexually and ethnically in the workplace. Not to mention her passive attitude about having a plantation themed wedding for a family member with a black only wait staff-and deciding against it to protect her image.

    So what she didn't lie. The Creator said, if you thought it, you already did it.

    Her karma was swift too.

    June 29, 2013 at 5:35 am |
  13. nothing new here

    Sensible advice, Sir.

    June 28, 2013 at 6:50 pm |
  14. Joesnopy

    I think Jimmy is right. All the CORPs are dropping her and I think it is just a profit decision and not what happen. Do you see any body saying much about it other than the media so not sure what the CORPs knows but I do not think many people care.

    June 28, 2013 at 6:42 pm |
    • jazzguitarman

      Joesnopy; The corps don't need to know anything the public hasn't seen. Deen is involved in a controversy. These companes don't wish to be associated with a controversy so they dropped her. It doesn't matter what the actual 'truth' is. It is PR 101 to avoid controversy.

      June 29, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
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