Paula Deen’s fans haven’t been shy about expressing their support for the embattled celebrity chef, who was fired from the Food Network on Friday after a controversy over her use of a racial epithet. There’s #TeamPaula and #TeamPaulaDeen on Twitter. And on Facebook, there are several “We support Paula Deen” pages.
The most popular one, with nearly 400,000 likes, mainly consists of messages encouraging supporters and urging them to buy Deen’s products or eat at her restaurants, as well as a few news items about her defenders.
But on Tuesday afternoon, it took a more devious turn when a post went up that purported to link to the LinkedIn profile of the woman whose lawsuit led to the controversy.
“For those in LinkedIn, meet Lisa T. Jackson, the ex manager who is suing the Deen family. She is now in Atlanta area,” the post read.
It was deleted about an hour after it went up.
Ahead of her scheduled appearance on the “Today” show on Wednesday, Deen thanked her supporters on her own Facebook page and through Twitter. A Facebook post thanking supporters got more than 465,000 likes.
I want to send love and thanks for the kind words you have all shared with me and my family, and the support you've shown me this past week.— Paula Deen (@Paula_Deen) June 24, 2013
Food Network has kept mum about the controversy on social media, posting recipes for things like breakfast cookies and glazed salmon. That’s done little to quiet Deen’s fans, who use the recipe posts as opportunities to tell the network of their plans to boycott. On Tuesday, though, someone who apparently still plans to watch the channel directed them elsewhere: “pretty sure Paula has her own Facebook page where you can all show your support.”
On Twitter: @lauraelizdavis