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Paula Deen's Under Fire, but Harrah's Mum on Restaurant

The casino has no response on how the celebrity chef's woes might affect Paula Deen's Kitchen at Harrah's Joliet.

Racism and food make for strange table-mates, as celebrity chef Paula Deen has learned the hard way.


In the wake of controversy over her admitted use of the n-word and tolerance of racial comments and jokes, Deen has lost the Food Network shows that put her on the map 11 years ago. QVC is "reviewing" her contract to sell her products on their channel and Smithfield Ham dropped her as a spokeswoman Monday.

So, where does that leave Paula Deen's Kitchen, which opened to great fanfare at Harrah's Joliet Casino in April 2012?

Harrah's officials aren't saying. A call to the restaurant's supervisor Monday about whether business was down or the restaurant in jeopardy because of Deen's sudden notoriety was answered with a terse, "I'll transfer you to the department that can answer that for you."

A few minutes later the supervisor was back with this message: "We're not going to comment on that."

Deen is embroiled in a lawsuit, filed by a former manager of Deen's Uncle Bubba's Seafood and Oyster House restaurant in Savannah, Ga., which alleges Deen and her brother/restaurant operator Bubba Hiers fostered a workplace in which sexual harassment and racial slurs were rampant.

In a deposition, Deen acknowledged she has used racial epithets, including the n-word, and but said it was "a long time ago." She also said she never told racial jokes, but didn't judge those who did or found them funny.

The situation became exacerbated when Deen, after the deposition went public, cancelled an interview to discuss it on NBC's "The Today Show" last week and instead issued two video apologies that were criticized for being heavily edited.

Deen has rescheduled with "The Today Show" and is now set to be interviewed by Matt Lauer on Wednesday.

Deen has three other casino-affiliated restaurants: Paula Deen Buffet at Harrah's Tunica, Paula Deen Buffet at Horseshoe Southern Indiana and Paula Deen's Kitchen at Harrah's Cherokee. Her flagship restaurant is The Lady & Sons in Savannah, Ga.

Herc June 24, 2013 at 08:51 PM
According to a news outlet today, two weeks prior to this lawsuit the woman suing Deen actual wrote her a letter saying thank you for everything Paula did. Now I'm not saying Paula's brother didn't do anything wrong, but Paula was named only because she's part owner. Now today Rainbow Push is getting involved, so yes I have my doubts. Seems to me it's about the money now not justice. The woman suing is white. So Paula will pay off a bunch of Rainbow Push people and everything will fade away!
anonymous June 24, 2013 at 10:10 PM
I'm more inclined to eat there after this "controversy".
Vic June 25, 2013 at 04:33 AM
I'm sick of this one sodded stuff so what. It's a word. Big deal. What happened to free speech? The "N" word is protected by law but THEY can call me cracker , Honkie, etc. with no problem. If you are white you have said that word. Not only do I say it but I sing it whenever I hear of these stories. I will patronize Paula Deans regularly. I expect bashing for my comments from black people and you white ones who do are liberal cowards.
john junker June 25, 2013 at 08:38 AM
blacks use the word more than other races !!! give it a rest !!
John Roberts June 25, 2013 at 08:54 AM
keep it there
lala June 25, 2013 at 09:39 AM
Before the kitchen is closed keep in mind the plaintiff is white, not black. : In the plaintiff’s own words In Jackson’s deposition taken Feb. 11, she recounts how Dora Childs, an employee at The Lady & Sons, told her “probably sometime in 2010” that she felt discriminated against when a white male kitchen manager was promoted over her, adding, “and that Paula made racist comments.” Deens’ attorney, Franklin, asked Jackson: “You have never heard Paula make a racist remark, have you?” “Not heard it,” Jackson replied. “You have never known Paula to discriminate against a person based on gender, have you?” “I’m not aware.” “And you have never known Paula to sexually harass anyone, have you?” “Not me.”
Stephanie June 25, 2013 at 10:43 AM
People will use any excuse to file a lawsuit and sue for free money. Seriously. So she admitted to using the word in the past, are we now punishing people for honesty and cooperation?? She didn't go off on a public rant, she simply answered a question truthfully. I mean, if were able to sue over racism now, then I should find that black dude who called me a dumb cracker and file a multi million dollar lawsuit, right? Or is it only racism when a white person is at fault? People need to stop being so damn sensitive and GET THE FUCK OVER IT.
Shannon June 25, 2013 at 11:29 AM
This is ridiculous! The chick is just trying to make money off Paula! I, for one, will never watch the Food Network for firing her over this and I stand behind Paula 100%. She has helped so many people over the years, and because she's white, southern, and a public figure, they have to rake her over the coals for something said years ago! The people causing all these problems for her are the "racist" ones!
anonymous June 25, 2013 at 11:47 AM
Now I know where to have our next Klan retirement dinner. Although the grease from her cooking is hard to get out of white robes.
Joseph June 25, 2013 at 11:53 AM
Don't guess - read the Paul Deen Transcript at http://blogs.miaminewtimes.com/shortorder/2013/06/bring_paula_deen_back_read_the.php Where she explains that the word may have been used: "probably when a black man burst into the bank that I was working at and put a gun to my head." This is America first and second, if I were describing to my husband about someone who put a gun to my head ... I think I would have been extremely descriptive of the creep.
Nicole Mandaschet June 25, 2013 at 01:48 PM
Um who cares I'm pretty sure I heae blacks, whites, mexicans, arabics, chinese ect. Make racial comments
jimbob11 June 25, 2013 at 01:51 PM
Paula and Palin in 2016!!!!!!!!
Jon Baker June 25, 2013 at 04:44 PM
Ah, "The Patch", where the racists come out to play
Gloria Kassel June 25, 2013 at 04:54 PM
It is time to put this to an end. If you read the ACTUAL wording ..she really did not do anything wrong. Someone is just trying to get rich and the lawyers are right there too with their hands out!
Phil Lopian June 25, 2013 at 05:11 PM
Seriously? Who cares. The food is terrible. I have no clue how she got famous with that garbage she refers to as food. Harrah's dropped the ball having that restaurant there. They should close it and put anything else there. Ace's food at the casino blows that country deep fried turd of a restaurant away!
Vic June 25, 2013 at 05:16 PM
Damn right I'm a racist. And stuff like this just ingrains it deeper. I have taught my family it's ok to be white. I'm white and proud of it. You liberal idiots are so frightened of blacks you just can't see it. There is no one more racist than a black. The line has been drAwn long ago. I'm on the white side.
Charlie Elle June 25, 2013 at 05:46 PM
No one cares. Hey how 'bout those Blackhawks!!!
VB June 25, 2013 at 05:59 PM
Vic, you are extremely ignorant. I am white and extremely conservative and I am still going to bash you. Every race has trashy people and you are proving that well, but for you to bash the entire black race is just plain ignorant....especially when it is a white woman suing her!! I don't even think that Paula Deen was necessarily in the wrong in this situation either, but you have made the situation into something extremely different by your comments. You are right, it is okay to be white, but it is also okay to be any other race and I feel sorry for your family if you have not taught them that. You are a self-proclaimed racist and an apparent a**hole. People like you (no matter what race!) are exactly why our world is the way it is.
Vic June 25, 2013 at 06:03 PM
Your right. How 'bout those Hawks. And aren't their fans wonderful? Especially throwing stones and beer at the police horses. What a hoot! Maybe a repeat next year perhaps they can kill someone.
Special Rex June 27, 2013 at 03:42 AM
Here's the thing, you don't have to like any race of people because you control your own thoughts. If you say then n word regardless of race that's on you. What draws the line is the time and place. Of course if this was going on like It's said. Then of course too, the workplace isn't the time or the place.

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