Over the course of two weeks, Paula Deen has gone from Domestic Queen to Dropped Diva. Food Network, Walmart, Smithfield and Target are a few included companies in the dozen that have severed ties with Deen and her product lines. These dismals stem from a lawsuit from a former employee, citing racial and sexual discrimination. Deen has admitted to using the “N” word and her reaction to the backlash created a media storm and PR nightmare.
Thoughts around the office:
“Social judgment aside, Paula Deen worked herself into a major PR crisis that only experts could work her out of.”
“Only if she were to grab the bull by the horns and fess up in public, showing true compunction and behavior change would public opinion give her a chance at redemption.”
“I don’t think her brand has really been hurt. She’s losing endorsements because her endorsers don’t want to be associated with this negative situation. Her core supporters will still support her. No love will be lost there.
“Her key supporters think and act exactly as she does. From what I know of this whole incident, my concern is no whether or not she’s racist or should endorse certain products, more about the level of respect, or lack thereof, that she has shown in her workplace. No one should be subject to a hostile work environment.”
“I feel she should be judged on how she has carried herself in the past years, when we have all become more sensitive to the meaning and sting of the word and less accepting of it’s use by anyone, should count not what she did umpteenth years ago especially since she has apologized.”
“I find myself not having warm and fuzzy feelings for the companies who have dropped her. They don’t have to condone the use of the word and maybe some kind of action was necessary but could they have not reviewed the situation, made a suspension then come back with a decision when some time has passed.”
“I do think her brand is redeemable….it might not be as strong as it once was, but I think it will come back.”
“I say yes. I think her reputation and her brand are definitely redeemable. It won’t happen overnight and it will take quite a bit of work. She will have to prove to the AA community that she is truly remorseful and that she has been enlightened as to how hurtful that word can be to others.”
“I think Paula’s downfall was the fact that she used the phase “of course” when referring to the use of the “N” word. That told us that she felt it was ok and a pretty common occurrence in the parts where she’s from. I think that we can all be educated as to how our actions affect others and how to become more sensitive to other’s feelings and experiences.”
“On top of everything else, how can we say that we’re so offended when a white person uses the “N” word when we don’t get all bent out of shape when we hear other black persons using the word as if it was going out of style or something?”
At the end of the day it’s a word. A word that we have allowed others to define and label us with. It’s a word people. If you take the power away from it, take the power out of it, then what……..”
Do you think Paula’s reputation is reDEENable?