Seeking Alpha

Latest blow to Paula Deen, who was dropped like a hot potato by various employers and sponsors...

Latest blow to Paula Deen, who was dropped like a hot potato by various employers and sponsors throughout the week (I, II, III) comes from Random House. Until Friday, the one bright spot of the chef's week was the #1 spot on Amazon's (AMZN) best-seller list taken by pre-orders for her newest book, due in October. But Random House, the publisher, has now backed away from publishing the book and cancelled the rest of its contract with Deen. Sears, J.C. Penney, K-mart, Walmart and Target all had announced they would stop selling Deen-branded products, including books. Also yesterday Novo Nordisk (NVO) did finally drop her as a spokesperson.
 
From other sites
Comments (23)
  • 7footMoose
    , contributor
    Comments (2266) | Send Message
     
    I am not so much a Paula Deen fan as I am an advocate of let's be just a little realistic about her "crime". She has said some things that were insensitive and which she should not have said but she has not committed any crimes against humanity only crimes against political correctness. This is another case of media overreaction creating chaos and calamity.
    29 Jun 2013, 06:34 AM Reply Like
  • D_Virginia
    , contributor
    Comments (2280) | Send Message
     
    Actually this is precisely the point -- it's not like she's being criminally (or even civilly) charged with a crime. There is no involvement of the law or government here.

     

    This is a FREE MARKET reaction, you kids should love it!

     

    Her market, TV networks and publishers, think that their market, viewers and readers, won't like the product now. While the sales numbers may contradict this (one can always count on the "bigotry bump" a la Chick Fil A), those companies are FREE to make that decision.

     

    It's not the evil government. It's not the evil Democrats.

     

    It's Corporate America, your hero! :-)
    29 Jun 2013, 09:23 AM Reply Like
  • DIgitalMediaView
    , contributor
    Comments (668) | Send Message
     
    Lincoln said if you represent yourself, you have a fool for a client. Deen hung herself in the court of public/market opinion after making her own thoughtless, offensive statements because of her own amateur-hour communications strategy/crisis management. All the media did was give her enough rope. She is where she is because she is what she is and she didn't think she needed to do anything differently because she didn't think she did anything. She took this ill-advised "living in her own bubble" message to the public and they responded accordingly. After the predictably disastrous reception peaked this week, she finally hired crisis management expert Judy Smith, acknowledging the train wreck she created through her own words and actions. Why should we have sympathy for Deen? She dug her own grave and then proceeded to use the shovel to bury herself in her own dirt.
    29 Jun 2013, 10:42 AM Reply Like
  • Arnold Layne
    , contributor
    Comments (45) | Send Message
     
    D you drew several baseless and ignorant inferences from the post you replied to.
    A Hater are you?
    29 Jun 2013, 12:37 PM Reply Like
  • Arnold Layne
    , contributor
    Comments (45) | Send Message
     
    Sympathy wasn't requested in the post you replied to.
    Now, what will become of Alec Baldwin after his 'queen' rant?
    29 Jun 2013, 12:39 PM Reply Like
  • The Rebel
    , contributor
    Comments (974) | Send Message
     
    What became of WV Senator Robert Byrd after his utterance of the N word on national TV 12 years ago? Nothing. He was re-elected. What became of him when he made this statement in 1945 about the integration of the armed services?:

     

    "I should die a thousand times, and see Old Glory trampled in the dirt never to rise again, than to see this beloved land of ours become degraded by race mongrels, a throwback to the blackest specimen from the wilds."

     

    His punishment for this statement was to be elected as a U.S. Congressman, and later a U.S. Senator, twice as Democrat Leader.

     

    I'm no fan of Deen, but what high crimes did she commit to deserve this punishment?
    30 Jun 2013, 07:59 PM Reply Like
  • pre-boomer
    , contributor
    Comments (26) | Send Message
     
    Amen to the above comment. The ' perfect people ' want everyone to have the same views, opinions, ideas, etc about everything - theirs !!!
    29 Jun 2013, 06:52 AM Reply Like
  • HerbertMarcuse
    , contributor
    Comments (506) | Send Message
     
    Apparently free speech isn't so free. This is a lot like the Anita Bryant witch hunt of the 80's.
    29 Jun 2013, 08:22 AM Reply Like
  • The Geoffster
    , contributor
    Comments (4013) | Send Message
     
    I am writing to my representatives in Comgress to immediately introduce legislation to criminalize the use of racial epithets. Anyone who has used such language in the past should be reported and convicted on the testimony of two credible witnesses. The NSA can be directed to turn over the names of persons known to have used racial epithets in telephone conversations and e-mails. Punishment should be harsh and include large fines and jail time. Appropriate text books should be distributed to all schools and mandatory courses in racial sensitivity should be instituted. Public service campaigns explaining the new law must be be aired at least once hourly by all electronic media. Print campaigns can also be required. Doctors will be required to query their patients about their possible bigotry and report their findings to HHS.
    29 Jun 2013, 08:41 AM Reply Like
  • busterosodd
    , contributor
    Comments (41) | Send Message
     
    Great comment, Geoffster; I just wish that you could have conveyed to the comment readers that you were speaking with tongue firmly inserted in cheek.....You were, weren't you?...
    29 Jun 2013, 10:53 AM Reply Like
  • hanakookie
    , contributor
    Comments (92) | Send Message
     
    What away to end a career. You reap what you sow. I don't think this has anything to do with politics, but the image factor is tarnished. Corporate America shows its irony. It's ok to have our products made in slave labor countries, but its not ok for a brand spokesman to call those ppl slaves. I hope Deen saved some money because you can't just sign up for an EBT and get it the next day. Obviously there is more to this and we will never hear the whole story.
    29 Jun 2013, 08:47 AM Reply Like
  • busterosodd
    , contributor
    Comments (41) | Send Message
     
    This, the era of "Political Correctness" run-wild, has, sadly, created a universal climate of mass insanity.
    29 Jun 2013, 10:50 AM Reply Like
  • D_Virginia
    , contributor
    Comments (2280) | Send Message
     
    Sort of. Except, not really.

     

    It's not like her job is accounting and her comments affect how good her accounting is. Her job isn't even cooking. That's not her business model.

     

    Deen is a media personality. Her business model is to get people to like her. Her duty to her customers (networks and publishers) is to keep people liking her.

     

    In that business, if you do stuff that makes people *not* like you, you lose business. Sometimes all it takes is one slip. Them's the breaks, fair and square.

     

    Welcome to the free market.
    29 Jun 2013, 11:15 AM Reply Like
  • 7footMoose
    , contributor
    Comments (2266) | Send Message
     
    Would you like to comment on Alec Baldwin's behavior and the media's reaction?
    29 Jun 2013, 02:32 PM Reply Like
  • D_Virginia
    , contributor
    Comments (2280) | Send Message
     
    > Would you like to comment on Alec Baldwin's behavior and
    > the media's reaction?

     

    Absolutely, since clearly most people misunderstand the difference.

     

    First:
    He seems to be getting *plenty* of bad press from "the media", and deservedly so:
    http://tmz.me/126HO5o
    http://nydn.us/126HO5q
    http://fxn.ws/126HO5r
    http://bit.ly/126HR0X

     

    Second:
    The simple reality is that Baldwin is A-list and Deen is C-list at best, and Baldwin simply has a better publicist team. He's already gotten various gay & lesbian groups to issue an "it's okay" statement on his behalf, for example. I doubt Deen's people (if she has any?) have taken similar measures.

     

    Like all aspects of life, the higher you go, the easier it is to float above the fray. It may not be right, but it's how it is.

     

    Third:
    From a financial perspective, the reality is that Deen's product is herself, while Baldwin's product is his acting, so Deen being disliked tarnishes her profitability a lot more than Baldwin. Almost no one likes Tom Cruise, for example, but plenty of people go see his movies.

     

    Sticking to the business, CapitalOne employs Baldwin for simple face recognition: the guy has been in popular movies and shows, where he plays characters. Most people don't know anything about his personality or his views, and most people don't care. People relate to characters, not actors. People used to try to get Martin Sheen to run for president while he was on The West Wing (although he is kind a protest hippy in real life).

     

    Deen is employed for recognition too, but recognition as *herself*. Her business model is not cooking or recipes, it's having lots of people like her, and she has hurt that business model, so her various sponsors are doing the math.

     

    Fourth:
    Baldwin's infraction is a comparatively small one, even though recent, and not his first. He was thoughtlessly (and offensively) using a slur in an attempt to antagonize the guy he was mad at, he wasn't specifically discriminating against a gay person. While that certainly says something about him as a person, it's not something he could be taken to court for, for example.

     

    What has come out about Deen is (seemingly) a long history and ongoing pattern of racially based discrimination: literally a *lawsuit* alleging racial discrimination at her restaurant, plans for a plantation-themed wedding with only black servers, various discussions of her usage of "the N word", etc.

     

    What's unfortunate for Deen is that all this is coming out at once, even though most of it was a very long time ago. It might not be fair, but it serves to magnify the public reaction.

     

    Fifth and finally:
    Rightly or wrongly, this nation is simply more sensitive to racial issues than it is to gay issues. This nation never historically enslaved gay people, never kept them from voting, never lynched them, never publicly segregated them or otherwise overtly subjected them to the same injustices and indignities as African Americans were subjected to.

     

    Maybe all that's ancient history at this point, but cultural memories last a while, and if you had to "rank" the offensiveness of discrimination based on race versus based on sexual orientation, the former would probably always rank higher by a good margin, even though in today's world there ought to be no difference. Some history is just hard to forget.

     

    Personally, I think the reaction is overblown too, but again, that's the market -- sometimes equities are oversold.

     

    Sorry for the long comment, but hopefully that makes it clearer.

     

    Cheers. :-)
    29 Jun 2013, 03:21 PM Reply Like
  • busterosodd
    , contributor
    Comments (41) | Send Message
     
    Well said, D_Virginia, well said.
    29 Jun 2013, 04:54 PM Reply Like
  • Mike Maher
    , contributor
    Comments (2616) | Send Message
     
    Walmart won't sell anything by Paula Deen because she admitted saying the "N-word", but I see an add on FB that Walmart is the best place to buy Lil Wayne music. Because Lil Wayne is less offensive than Paula Deen? Come on
    29 Jun 2013, 11:35 AM Reply Like
  • chillywilly69
    , contributor
    Comments (32) | Send Message
     
    Reverse discrimination. And punishment for expressing herself, --regardless of opinion.
    29 Jun 2013, 01:15 PM Reply Like
  • Terry330
    , contributor
    Comments (867) | Send Message
     
    Most Americans are glad the large companies are dropping Paula Deen. She is not a good
    example for a national spokesperson.
    Ever day more negative comments she made come out.
    29 Jun 2013, 01:32 PM Reply Like
  • 7footMoose
    , contributor
    Comments (2266) | Send Message
     
    Have you poled "most Americans" or are you generalizing without facts again?
    29 Jun 2013, 05:53 PM Reply Like
  • tmp564
    , contributor
    Comments (3) | Send Message
     
    The above comments are right on track or we don’t know the whole story yet. I’m hoping that we don’t know the whole story. If all this is happening to her because of a couple of inappropriate statements, it shows there is more bigotry and hatred in the hearts of others than could ever fit in hers
    29 Jun 2013, 01:37 PM Reply Like
  • bostonm2000
    , contributor
    Comments (24) | Send Message
     
    It sure sucks when people are held accountable for their actions.
    29 Jun 2013, 08:04 PM Reply Like
  • Tricky
    , contributor
    Comments (1583) | Send Message
     
    If there's anything Paula Deen should be persecuted for, it's her crimes against public health with those deep fried recipes ;-)
    29 Jun 2013, 10:20 PM Reply Like
DJIA (DIA) S&P 500 (SPY)
ETF Tools
Find the right ETFs for your portfolio:
Seeking Alpha's new ETF Hub
ETF Investment Guide:
Table of Contents | One Page Summary
Read about different ETF Asset Classes:
ETF Selector