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Who would have thought that admitted drug use passes for acceptable behavior these days.
This past year Paula Deen suffered humiliation, lost endorsements from Sears, JC Penney, KMart and Walgreens, saw her TV show on Food Network cancelled and her credibility as a good old southern lady flushed down the bowl, for a comment she made more than 20 years ago and one that she atoned for profusely, I might add. The executives at Food Network threw her under a bus quicker than a falling souffle right out of the oven and failed to renew her contract because the network did not tolerate “Discriminatory behavior.”
Now the case was thrown out of court by a federal judge on Aug. 13, 2013, and the Food Network lost one of its very profitable business relationships.
Fast-forward a few months, and the world has turned yet again. Paula has weathered the storm, she has survived, she looks terrific, and she still has her family around her, as well as her restaurant and book sales. Good for her.
But here is where I find out how hypocritical the Food Network and its executives really are. Recently I was surfing the channels and I happened upon a new show on its channel, “Nigellissima.” The program features chef Nigella Lawson demonstrating her take on Italian recipes.
But wait — Food Network is premiering her new show? Renewing her contract? Didn’t Nigella admit to using cocaine and smoking marijuana? “I would rather be honest, ashamed about drug use,” she said in an interview on the Today show. Is this what the Food Network sees as acceptable behavior? Admitted drug use. Where is the executive outrage? Where is the condemnation of the popular chef?
I’ll tell you where. Nowhere, mon frere.
The network will never admit it, but by making an example out of Paula Deen and firing her the network lost out on a lot of money and a lot of viewers. It didn’t matter to the pandering CEOs that Paula brought in a lot of money and viewers to the channel, nor did it matter that she employes many people, and her products keep a lot of people in the green. It only mattered to the Food Network execs to keep its hypocritical stockholders happy.
But I’m glad to say that Paula has had the last laugh. The discrimination case against her was thrown out of court, her fans still buy her books, frequent her restaurants, I’ve seen her guest on her son’s show, and she has repaired her reputation.
Not for Nuthin™ Food Network execs, but you cooked the wrong golden goose this time.
Follow me on Twitter @JDelBuono.
©2013 Community Newspaper Group
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