The undisputed queen of southern cooking, Paula Deen, is entangled in one big, 'ole legal mess. Deen, her empire, and her brother, are all being sued for sexual harassment amid charges of sexism and racism.
This comes not long after the controversy surrounding her recent "coming out" as diabetic after hiding it for years while pushing one of the most unhealthy diets on television. That disclosure only came after Deen accepted a paying gig as the spokesperson for a diabetic medicine. Reactions ranged from disappointment to disgust, and the media ran with all kinds of tirades about her lack of integrity.
In this case however, it seems that the allegations, at the very least, are trumped up charges made by an employee who realized that there was more milk in the teat of the queen than there was in her paycheck as an employee at Bubba's Oyster and Seafood House in Savannah, Georgia.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, former employee Lisa Jackson alleges that the Food Network star and her brother, Earl Heirs, who co-owns the restaurant, used the N-word and other offensive language. Jackson also claims that Heirs watched pornography onsite.
Why the doubt? Jackson worked for the restaurant a full five years under these alleged conditions.
You'd think that if you were African-American and your bosses had been throwing around the word "n****r" that you would quit and probably file a few complaints as you made your exit.
If the work environment was that hostile, why would Jackson wait almost 2,000 days to take action? That just doesn't make sense.
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In her defense, the allegations against Heirs watching pornography at the workplace carry an air of verisimilitude. But perhaps Jackson felt that his apron pockets weren't as deep as his celebrity chef sister's.
I was one of the many bloggers and columnists to come down on Deen for Diabetesgate, but this seems like a case where yet another American has decided that litigation is a much easier way to make money than actually working.
This would never happen at La Carreta.