What Paula Deen Can Learn from Bloggers

By Estelle Sobel Erasmus


Most bloggers Blog with Integrity. That’s right. If we receive payment for a post or we are using an affiliate, the FCC requires that we disclose it. Many of us did that anyway, before being required. But, the point is we want to do the right thing. And usually, we do.

Paula Deen didn’t.

I admit, I’ve never been a fan. I’d rather eat Rachel Ray’s suspect recipes than go for the butter-laden, calorie cornucopia  that Paula Deen promised. Southern food has never been my drug of choice. However, Paula made many mistakes that are unacceptable.

You can’t separate a person’s morality displayed in their personal life from their public life. Just ask Anthony Weiner. No, we don’t want someone representing us who took pics of his um, eponymously-named organ and showcased it while using one of the perks of his office-the gym.

And, Paula, the public made you…the public will break you. And crocodile-tears do not excuse that you thought it was just dandy to recreate the slavery of the old south for your brother’s wedding, because you wanted that “OLD WORLD CHARM.” And boo hoo that your grandfather committed suicide after he lost his precious slave labor. And what about the diabetes drug you touted after coming out with your own condition of type 2 diabetes two years after the diagnosis and just enough time to have been able to ink your lucrative deal with Novo Nordisk. They dropped you too, like the hot potatoes you have encouraged an already obesity-prone nation to devour like so many lemmings.

Well, who’s in the frying pan, now?

I blog with integrity and many of my fellow blogging friends do as well. Many of us will be attending BlogHer in Chicago in a few weeks. Blogging with integrity means disclosing affiliate links and saying that you were paid for sponsored posts or received items to review or giveaway.The ones who don’t? We will find you out, and social-media-shame you.

Just like we have done to Paula.

Perhaps we should have a new button and call it Live with Integrity? We’ll offer it up to celebrities and other public figures and see if they bite?

What do you think of politicians and other public figures who abuse the public’s trust?


19 thoughts on “What Paula Deen Can Learn from Bloggers”

  1. Excellent post, Estelle, and I also think that Paula is getting what she deserves, although not even nearly enough. I am southern and I would never call anyone the names she called them. Her upbringing/being from the south is NO excuse for racist remarks. I never liked her before and now my opinion will never change.

    1. Thanks Holly. I think there are too many apologists regarding how she acted.

    1. Jessica,
      You are so right. But we as the public need to hold their feet to the fire.

  2. I dont know all the facts behind this story but I do feel sometimes celebrities are taken for example to the extreme and we need to focus on our own communities and politicians that are molding this world into a scary place for my children.

    1. Maria,
      Absolutely. But we must also make sure the people we idolize and put in positions of power do not have clay feet.

  3. I love her recipes and think her actions were blown out of proportion as negative media campaign snow ball….she has used words and comments all her life, nobody had done anything until now. As a Hispanic and minority, I don’t approve her comments, just think the damage that they brought to her career were unfair in comparison to all the work she has done and struggle to get there.

  4. I actually love Paula Deen! I like many of her dishes and her sons are very good at taking her fat laden dishes and making them healthy. Yes, she shouldn’t have said what she said. Many superstars shouldn’t live the way they live either but we continue to glorify them, especially if they are of color. She apologized, just like other people have. What happened to forgiveness? Are people throwing stones because they are perfect? I wish Walmart would drop all music that has the N word in it. I mean people said/sing it (white and black) but Walmart still carries it for more people to listen to.

    1. The deposition for the case which is has been made public, alluded to other moral “mistakes” by Paula, such as seeming to not be bothered by staff having sex with underage workers, and allowing porn in the office, and not being bothered by that as well. A little bit more than a “mistake” wouldn’t you say.

  5. I couldn’t look at Paula Deen before this all happened, as her voice and food just annoyed the hell out of me. And now when I see her, I literally have to look away. I’m sorry, but she deserves her just desserts…(pun intended!)

    1. I love the pun Sheryl. She totally got caught with her finger in the pie.

  6. If we do not let the past be an excuse for criminal behavior, it should not be an excuse for immoral behavior. Eventually, we must decide for ourselves the kind of people we want to be and what we want to stand for.

  7. The old saying “You can take the boy out of the country but you can never take the country out of the boy” might apply here. I have never really believed in the saying though. Even if she was raised with role models that were poor she should have learned what was right and what was wrong. I was in her restaurant in Savanah called Ladie and Sons. She had a woman of color dressed up as a “Aunt Jemima” ringing the bell for lunch in the street. While it was charming in it’s own way, I could only think that it was demeaning somehow. Evidently Paula Dean never saw the wrong in the southern way of thinking that goes back to the beginnings of our country. It truly is sad.

    But in the end, people learn when someone this big falls. She did serve a useful purpose in the end.

    Ethics are never going out of style. Thank you for the post.


    1. Barbara,
      That’s interesting that she had an Aunt Jamima. That wasn’t in the deposition. How true that ethics are never going out of style. We need to make sure our celebrities and public figures remember that.

  8. I agree with everything you say. Never really liked her, never saw her show, ate her food, etc…And, I think she has been dishonest and is reaping her just rewards right now.

    Maybe the issue is that ‘we’ tend to idolize ordinary people–placing them on a pedestal and then seem so surprised that they’re human? We do this w/ movie stars and athletes as if they’re more important and better somehow. Many of us, bloggers, parents, teachers, local people are living with more integrity and compassion than most of these so-called stars and heros!

    1. Hi Walker,
      You are absolutely right. We idolize people and think they can do no wrong because of fame. Well, with the influx of social media eyes that is changing right.

  9. Very interesting analogy between the public persona of a household name chef and bloggers. I try to live and write with as much honesty and integrity as possible, but I am only human and never expect anyone to be perfect. What’s happening to Paula’s career is shocking, but then again so was some of her behavior.

    1. Hi Dresden, I agree with you, no one is perfect, but some of the actions of these celebrities and public figures go beyond what is a tiny little mistake, to really showing disregard for humanity. I think more and more these failings will be revealed by bloggers, who will also be called upon to be as upstanding as possible to enhance our standings in the social media world and with corporations and brands. And because it’s the right thing to do.

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