Comfort food chef Paula Deen is becoming a rather tragic figure; first she carves out a brand for herself slinging butter-laden southern delicacies, then she announces that she’s had diabetes for years and will become a paid spokesperson for a diabetes drug, and now she and her brother are being sued for sexual harassment and some racist requests that are even more colorful than her contemporary Sandra Lee’s nasty looking Kwanzaa cake.

Lisa Jackson was general manager of Uncle Bubba’s Seafood and Oyster House in Savannah, Georgia, of which Paula and her brother Bubba Hiers are co-owners. Jackson alleges that during her 2005-2010 employment at the restaurant Hiers inundated her and the rest of the staff with pornography and misogynistic insults — for example, visiting sex websites at the job and “forgetting” to log off, asking her to bring in sexy photos of herself, and making dirty jokes about oral sex that CLUTCH is too classy to repeat (and so specific that it’s hard to believe that Ms. Jackson made them up herself just to malign him).

But the part that intrigues me are the accusations of racism, which include the claim that Hiers frequently used the n-word and that Paula Deen made an especially racist request when Jackson asked her what the attire for a 2007 event should be:

“Well what I would really like is a bunch of little n***ers to wear long-sleeve white shirts, black shorts and black bow ties, you know in the Shirley Temple days, they used to tap dance around… Now, that would be a true Southern wedding wouldn’t it? But we can’t do that because the media would be on me about that.”

What troubles me about these alleged remarks is that they are so easy to imagine coming out of Paula Deen’s mouth and therefore she must have made them, yet they’re so easy to imagine coming out of her mouth that she probably didn’t. Not to break out the violins for white southern women, but combine Deen’s new reputation as a liar with the the persistent stereotype of white southerners all being racist and you have a very believable lawsuit targeting both Deen and Hiers. Let’s hope that Ms. Jackson gets justice for what ultimately sounds like a pretty uncomfortable work environment.

Read more here.

What do you think? Do these accusations ring true?

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  • mamareese

    I dont’ know the grease smells fishy here…..For 5 years really? This seems very far fetched and extreme for only one report over a 5 year span. I don’t buy this at all….someone must have something to gain to take this abuse for this much time and just now say something.

  • Liza

    Some of the allegations are serious, i.e., shaking an employee. Pornography on the web? Looking at naked pictures is not illegal. However, asking someone to bring in a photo of themself as a young woman, or showing photos of women having sex at a company meeting might be. But she will have to get other employees to testify. Hard to do that in this economy when folks are afraid of losing their jobs. But being mean, crude, nasty, uncouth, low class or vulgar are not necessarily illegal. The allegations must meet the definition set down by courts as sexual harassment. Is there written proof to the personnel department, or head of the company? If not, it becomes harder to prove. I don’t believe Paula is a racist. A few years back, she had a tv special on the Lady & Sons Restaurant which featured an African-American cook who had been with her from the very beginning. No doubt she could tell a few tales of how hard Paula is to work for, but a racist? No, I don’t believe it.

  • roberta cooper

    I am tired of the blacks thinging they can do what they what it is free speach .You can not use the N word because thay get all up set ,yes the N word is not nice to say but as for Obama he dose need to be out of office he has not did anything he said he was going to do.I think Mrs Jackson jest wants money ,

    • Liz

      English, next time.

  • CaramelBeauty

    First of all, pornography in a restaurant, YUCK!!!!!! You will never find me eating there!!!