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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.

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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