Paula Deen To Black Pal: ‘Can’t See You Standing Against That Dark Board!’ (VIDEO)
The Paula Deen racism controversy, which on Friday cost the TV kitchen personality her Food Network gig, is bringing renewed attention to a peculiar interview she gave The New York Times at a TimesTalk event last fall.
In the video, Deen discusses her great-grandfather’s devastation after the Civil War and the loss of his slaves, to whom she refers as “workers.” The famous cook then reflects on the legacy of Southern racism, commenting, “I feel like the South is almost less prejudiced, because black folks played such an integral part in our lives. They were like our family.” “I think black people feel the same prejudice that white people feel,” says Deen.
She then introduces the crowd to her friend Hollis Johnson, a black man she describes as being extremely close to her… and “as black as that board,” gesturing to the pitch-black backdrop. Deen brings Johnson on stage by announcing, “Come out here, Hollis! We can’t see you standing against that dark board!”
While it seems like Deen and Johnson have genuine mutual affection for each other… it’s a cringeworthy moment, especially given the nature of the talk — and what we’ve since learned about the former Food Network star. Check out the video below, and tell us what you think.