Paula Deen just doesn’t seem to get it. After the television chef with the down-home southern charm posted a photo on Twitter of her son in “brownface,” the Internet erupted and calls that Paula Deen is a racist began again. The picture went up on Paula Deen’s Twitter and Facebook accounts, and almost immediately saw a backlash.
Paula Deen’s photo in question is of herself, apparently dressed up as Lucille Ball in I Love Lucy, and her son, Bobby, is apparently portraying Ricky. Apparently in order to look more like Ricky, Bobby is in brownface, so that he can look more like he’s of Latin descent. Included with the picture was the caption, “Lucyyyyyyy! You got a lot of esplainin’ to do!” The reactions to the social media posts were almost unanimous and almost instantaneous. According to the Hollywood Reporter, complaints ranged from “Oh god you did not,” from one Twitter user. Another posted “Paula, *you* have a lot of esplainin’ to do.”
Deen had apparently put up the picture including her son in Brownface as part of what she was calling “Transformation Tuesday.” What isn’t clear is just why Paula Deen would think that she, of all people, would post a picture like that without facing considerable backlash. The Brownface photo was indeed one the cook didn’t expect to draw such swift anger, because it was pulled down just minutes later from both her Twitter and Facebook page.
It also appears the entertainer has decided that silence is the best approach here, as she hasn’t commented about the earlier posting since taking it down. Paula Deen is becoming someone who is no stranger to allegations of racism, and the latest Brownface photo isn’t going to help. It wasn’t that long ago that Paula Deen was accused of being racist by her cook, who said that among other things, she would ask her black staff to ring dinner bells and dress up like Aunt Jemima. During the aftermath of that incident, she admitted that she had used the “n-word” in the past.
It should be pointed out that Paula’s son, Bobby Deen, has also made no comment about the picture being posted online just yet. His Twitter account has been silent since before Independence Day. The real question is why the photo was posted now, especially considering that it was taken back in 2011, according to Eater. That’s just one of the questions Paula Deen is likely going to have to come up with an answer for.
[Photos courtesy Aaron Davidson / Getty Images for SOBEWFF, Twitter]