2021-06-17 08:30:42 UTC
After years of being largely shunned from the mainstream, celebrity chef
Paula Deen is hitting FOX airwaves this Wednesday for an episode of
Deen will appear as the third legend in Season 11 of MasterChef,
according to Gold Derby.
Known for her fatty cuisines and yummy desserts, this Southern belle follows
in the footsteps of Emeril Lagasse and Curtis Stone, the first two culinary
geniuses to serve as mentors/judges during the audition round, the report
outlined, adding that the former Food Network star will be working alongside
host Gordon Ramsey and judges Joe Bastianich and Aaron Sanchez.
Deen was cut from Food Network in 2013 over racially-charged revelations from
a lawsuit that was ultimately dismissed. Delish.com outlined the controversy:
June 19, 2013 While she was being deposed during a lawsuit brought
against her by Lisa Jackson, the former general manager of her
Savannah, Georgia restaurant Uncle Bubbas Seafood and Oyster House,
Deen admits to using the n-word in the past: Yes, of course.
During the same deposition, she also says thats just not a word
that we use as time has gone on. Things have changed since the 60s
in the south. And my children and my brother object to that word
being used in any cruel or mean behavior. As well as I do.
June 19, 2013 Jackson also claimed Deen wanted her African American
employees behave a certain way during a wedding Deen was planning.
I mean, it was really impressive. That restaurant represented a
certain era in America after the Civil War, during the Civil War,
before the Civil War It was not only black men, it was black women
I would say they were slaves, Radar quoted Deen as saying about
the party during a deposition.
A rep for Deen later told TMZ: Ms. Deen does not condone or find
the use of racial epithets acceptable. She is looking forward to
her day in court.
Deen tried to rehabilitate her image and emphasize that shes not a racist
and that her past regrettable language was shaped by time and location. But
the effort failed. Deens endorsements and corporate ties dried up. She was
essentially banned from the mainstream aside from rare appearances on shows
like Dancing with the Stars.
This weeks Fox appearance seems more significant, as Deen is being honored
for culinary skills.
Notably, the lawsuit that tanked Deen was dismissed in August 2013. PEOPLE
magazine reported at the time:
Paula Deen and a former employee have reached a settlement to dismiss
the remaining claims in a lawsuit that cost the celebrity chef a
chunk of her empire.
The U.S. District Court in Savannah, Ga., on Friday formally
dismissed the sexual harassment case with prejudice, meaning it cant
be filed again, just days after the judge threw out the racial
discrimination portion of the lawsuit.
A court document said both sides reached the settlement without any
award of costs or fees to any party.
The former employee, Lisa Jackson, released a statement saying Deen
was not personally responsible.
I assumed that all of my complaints about the workplace environment
were getting to Paula Deen, but I learned during this matter that
this was not the case, said Jackson. The Paula Deen I have known
for more than eight years is a woman of compassion and kindness and
will never tolerate discrimination or racism of any kind toward
anyone. I now know that the workplace environment issues that I
raised are being reviewed and will in the future no longer be at