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Diatribe: Paula Deen Didn’t “Win” That Lawsuit.

08/18/2013

PaulaDeenYesterday, I received a summons for jury duty.  This is the second time that I’ve been called to serve, the first being several years ago on a murder case, and I honestly won’t mind if I’m chosen again.  My first experience was both fascinating and frightening.  I took the responsibility quite seriously and learned quite a bit about the process.  What I learned leads me to wonder why so many people think that Paula Deen “won” the recent racial discrimination lawsuit against her.

Paula Deen didn’t “win” that lawsuit.

The judge in the case dismissed the claim brought against Deen by former employee Lisa Jackson, who was fired as manager of Uncle Bubba’s Seafood and Oyster House, because she had no right to claim racial discrimination.  Any comments that Deen or her employees may have made, the judge ruled, had no legal consequences to Jackson because she’s white.

The case progressed quite quickly.  On June 19th it was revealed that Deen admitted under oath that she had, in the past, used racial slurs but insisted that she and her family do not tolerate prejudice.  Nonetheless The Food Network severed ties with the celebrity chef just hours after the second of two videotaped apologies to fans were posted online.  Smithfield Foods was also quick to distance itself from her.

Just a short week later, I watched Deen burst into tears during a Today Show appearance and later that day she was stripped of four buffet restaurants owned by Ceasars and Wal-Mart Stores ended their relationship.  In the days that followed Target, Home Depot, Sears, JC Penney and Walgreens all severed ties amidst the controversy.  Soon thereafter, although her upcoming cookbook was currently a number one seller on amazon.com, she was dropped by her publisher.

Paula Deen was neither found guilty nor innocent in a court of law.  It seems to me that she didn’t “win” the case.  If she had, she would have been found innocent.

Do you think Paula Deen won the case against her?

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7 Comments
  1. Personally, I think she’s a loser all the way around.

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  2. thedogs'mother permalink

    Have also served on a jury and was called to serve on one in which the aggrieved party was suing my employer (I didn’t make it far on that one).
    Bob called it right when he predicted the Southern cook would win Food Network Star. They needed a replacement for Paula Deen and they got one. You have to wonder what kinds of questioning went on behind the scenes…
    Back to the original question – nope, Paula Deen did not win.

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  3. Agreed. Did not win. On the flip side, not to condone what she said under oath, I do think some of her former business partners, for whom she made a lot of money, abandoned her like she had the plague pretty darn quick. If one said, we don’t tolerate what she said and we will suspend her pending further review, to me that would have been a more appropriate course. They could have come to the same conclusion, but given her a little more due process. I once criticized my old company for being in too much of a hurry to fire someone, who did the right thing 19 times out of 20 and made one bad judgment call. They may have still come to the same conclusion, but should have vetted it more. I am not a huge fan of Paula Deen’s, yet I would add there are very few, if any, unprejudiced people in this world and her history should have been given more due diligence. Thanks, BTG

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    • Good point.

      I would argue that the business partners who quickly severed ties with Paula Deen were already looking for a reason to do so. It seems to me that, for so many partnerships to dissolve so quickly, these companies were unhappy with the relationship prior to the allegations of racism.

      Thanks for reading!

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  4. Cases are dismissed for as many different reasons as there are dismissals. But it is clear that she lost in the court of public opinion where it matters most. At least to her pocketbook.

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  5. Dwight Williamson permalink

    Leaking deposition testimony before the case is settled, destroying a business that started on a street corner selling box lunches. Paula Deen lost because of leaked depositions -she lost a financial empire. No one knows the true end of this case except God. What she did is definitely nothing like the woman in Texas who drowned her five children in the bathtub, or Casey Anthony or George Zimmerman . Now since the woman was white and sued Paula for racial discrimination and lost would you turn the other cheek. As far as being a White southerner and using inappropriate language, there are plenty of black northerners that call us f*ggots. This is not a happy world but Paula Deen at least deserved to be just horsewhipped not crucified.

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