It looks like Paula Deen’s efforts to distract the media from her N-Word scandal have failed yet again. Oprah Winfrey talked to E! about the chef’s statement, but with an entirely different angle than we’ve seen thus far.
Deen’s troubles began in May of this year, when she admitted to previously using the N-word in a video deposition as part of a $1.2 lawsuit filed against her last January, reports E!
Deen has since been subject to much backlash, including having many of her projects cancelled. When E! asked Oprah if she thought the backlash was fair, she offered a more socio-focused perspective. She replied, “I think that Paula Deen represented, you know, millions of people who have used the word…you and I both know people who use that word.”
In other words, Deen’s career has faced an almost comically tragic downfall for a word that millions of others use. She is therefore carrying the burden for not only her own insensitivity, but of those who also utter the word and remain unheard. Such is the reality for any public figure.
It’s no secret that living as a public figure requires one to be cautious in their speech in order to maintain a positive image. However, in those rare moments when celebrities slip-up, can we get a glimpse of what the unmediated Average-Joe is saying?
This forces us to ponder whether we should only be criticising Deen, or a society where the N-word is used in the first place.
In short, Deen’s situation acts as a Public Service Announcement for all impulsive-mouthed celebrities: Consider the emotions and sensitivities of others before you act, or you just might end up teary-eyed on the Today Show.