Become a digitalPLUS subscriber. 99¢ for 4 weeks.
News Opinion Readers Respond

Paula Deen lands in the deep fryer

Paula Deen, the Southern celebrity chef, has been dumped from the Food Network like a stale beignet. Her Georgia roots are what made her a unique talent in the foodie world, and the darker ends of those roots are what got her in trouble.

When her use of the "N" word and her less-than-PC racial humor came to light in a court deposition, Ms. Deen suddenly found herself swept up in the kind of bad publicity that offers no upside. (There's Charlie Sheen bad -- so bad that it becomes entertainment -- and there's Mel Gibson bad -- just plain toxic.) Ms. Deen's tearful apologies and pleas for understanding on both the "Today Show" and CNN have not stopped business partners such as Wal-Mart, Smithfield Foods, Home Depot and Caesars Entertainment from cutting ties with her.

Some came to the chef's defense -- among them the fevered conspiracy monger Glenn Beck, who said Ms. Deen's right to free speech was being infringed -- but she apparently had few, if any, champions at the place that had made her a star, the Food Network. The gourmand and glutton channel was so quick to cancel her show that there may well have been more to it than concern about a few instances of offensive language. Ms. Deen's ratings are reported to have been on a steep skid from a high in 2011.

In the hot kitchen and sharp knives of the entertainment business, if your slice of audience is not much more than a nibble, you will soon find yourself off the menu, no matter the circumstances.

Two-time Pulitzer Prize winner David Horsey is a political commentator for the Los Angeles Times. Go to latimes.com/news/politics/topoftheticket/ to see more of his work.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
  • Turning back the clock?
    Turning back the clock?

    Our view: If the Supreme Court has doubts about the need to remedy racial discrimination, it should tune in to the fight over Paula Deen

  • Md. should ban fracking
    Md. should ban fracking

    Thank you for bringing attention to New York's recent ban on fracking ("Fracking ban in NY prompts calls for MD to follow suit," Dec. 17). I applaud Gov. Andrew Cuomo for putting the health of New Yorkers above the pressure for dirty energy. Now it's time for Maryland to do the same.

  • R&D funding fills critical need
    R&D funding fills critical need

    The recently passed omnibus appropriations bill, H.R. 83 ("For better or worse, spending bill passes," Dec. 15), provides critical funding to federal research agencies and supports research programs that have a positive impact on our state and our universities. The efforts of Sen. Barbara...

  • Cuba normalization a win-win
    Cuba normalization a win-win

    I am extremely happy to hear the good news announced by President Barack Obama that our country will establish normal diplomatic relations with Cuba ("Turning a page on Cuba," Dec. 17). I was a student at the University Of Miami in the late 1960s approximately 10 years after the Cuban...

  • End U.S. embargo of Cuba
    End U.S. embargo of Cuba

    My memories of Cuba reach back to my youth in 1960 when my dad checked us into the Theresa Hotel in Harlem and Fidel Castro was a fellow guest. Since then, I have walked picket lines, signed petitions, written letters and otherwise agitated for an end to the U.S. embargo of Cuba.

  • End the embargo
    End the embargo

    I strongly agree with your conclusion that change in U.S. policy toward Cuba was long overdue ("Turning a page on Cuba," Dec. 17).

Comments
Loading