Paula Deen made her first public appearance since the racism scandal surrounding her reached its climax in June. Earlier in the year Deen admitted to using the N-word to a black employee..
The Houston Chronicle reported that Deen broke down in tears as she addressed a crowd of 1,500 people at the Metropolitan Cooking & Entertainment Show in Houston.
She was greeted by rousing cheers from the crowd, telling them: “These are tears of joy, y’all,” continuing: “I’ve said all along that the one place I’d want to make my first step back out is Texas. Y’all’s hearts are as big as your state.”
Since she was at the show, Deen pleased the crowd with two cooking demonstrations. She demonstrated how to make chicken pot pie and also her famous peanut butter pie.
Stephanie Young, a Deen supporter at the show, was holding a placard with a picture of Paula Deen. She told the Chronicle: “We wanted to step it up because she’s had a rough year. We want her back on TV, and we love her.”
There was also a small group of African-Americans at the food show, who also offered their support for Deen. Sherry Carter said: “When I first heard about it, my feeling was, she got caught. Just about everyone I know has used the word. At least she was honest about it.”
Even though Paula Deen reached a deal to settle the racial discrimination lawsuit against her, she was dropped by the Food Network and other major employers, due to the bad press she received at the time.