Some die-hard fans are getting all wrapped up in a campaign to defend Paula Deen.
They're sending cleaned and origami-folded butter wrappers to Food Network and other companies that dropped the popular chef and cookbook author in the wake of allegations of racism and sexual harassment. Deen later admitted to "of course" using the n-word. The wrappers are intended as signs of protest - physical declarations of "we're sticking with Paula."
John Schmitt, a hotel night auditor in Indianapolis and the man behind the campaign, says he couldn't abide by the "betrayal" of Food Network, QVC and others. He felt he had to do something to express his disgust at the situation.
"She made a mistake 20 years ago," he says. "We all make mistakes. I've said things I regret."
First, he thought about mailing actual sticks of butter. Then he considered two things: the waste of butter (something true Deen fans could never forgive), and the physical ickiness of envelopes steeped in melted butter.
He opted for an empty wrapper on which he wrote in black block letters: "Where is Paula?" and began cooking up a plan.
Read - 'We're sticking with Paula': Deen fans protest with butter wrappers
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Comfort food, uncomfortable topics
I think she deserves the loss of her sponsors. I think this was a major wake up call for her.
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Where can I buy that cookbook? Surely someone will print it.......we're waiting for it!
Awesome article, Julia! I had to giggle when my brain conjured up images of millions of slippery butter wrappers skidding across the massive mahogany desks of the CEOs of former sponsors. On a more serious note, one has to worry about all her hard working loyal employees with families to support if her businesses suffer because of this lawsuit. The fallout will be felt not only in Savannah, a city that's struggled to survive and come back from poverty and devastation, but around the country.
If this was simply about a word said 27 years ago or 4-5 years ago, I would say have at it with your protest. Unfortunately, this is not the case, This situation with her sponsors dropping her like she was a rabid skunk is because of her employment practices allegedly mixing with her personal racial beliefs and business decisions being made for her employees based on those beliefs. She said the word. She wanted a wedding where grown men dressed as slaved and served the guest. These two items are not in dispute, repugnant as they may be to large portion of America regardless of how "classy and elegant" she may feel it is. This is not in dispute.. But take moment to consider the following:
1.Imagine if you will being a female employee being referred to by your boss as a "piece of ass" with no apology made and a statement by that female boss who shows no remorse, but clearly, under oath says would be made again given the circumstances.
2. Imagine being paid less and promoted faster than your male counterpart for doing the exact same job because they have families to take care of.
3. Imagine being hired to be back of the house (kitchen staff) instead of front of the house (waitperson or hostess) because your skin is too dark and lighter skin people are more presentable in the front with customers.
4. Imagine not being paid in cash, but paid in alcohol or nothing at all, for overtime work at you boss' dinner parties at her home because "it's part of your job." If you complain you are summarily fired by her brother.
5. Imagine working at her brother's restaurant, Uncle Bubba's" and being subjected to a boss who comes in drunk or comes in drinking alcohol at 10am and refers to you (as an African American) as "his favorite monkey."
6. Imagine sharing an office with someone who is often drunk and reputedly still uses cocaine, watching pornography on his office computer or watching it on the kitchen computer where the kitchen staff (male and female) are being subjected to it.
7. Imagine having your yearly bonus being taken away after several years because you got divorced and were no longer seen as being a Christian woman by the accountant.
8. Now imagine the person who hold 51% (Pau;a Deen) of Uncle Bubba's restaurant turns a blind eye to the complaints and warnings of two other manager and an HR advisor brought in to specifically evaluate the problems.
Ask yourself if you would tolerate these working conditions year in and year out without finally saying something official when nothing else has worked. Would you have respect for manufacturers who allowed this happen to make a buck or would you spend your hard-earned dollars elsewhere? Would you continue to support someone who discriminates or offends a large portion of your financial base or would you distance yourself as quickly as possible so as not to be seen as condoning the behavior? This is the simplified version of the Paula Deen debacle, Now make your choice to defend her or the sponsors.
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