A U.S. district Judge dismissed a racial discrimination lawsuit filed by Lisa Jackson, a former Paula Deen (pictured) employee, ruling that the worker cannot claim racial bias against African Americans because she is White. The judge continued, “At best, plaintiff is an accidental victim of the alleged racial discrimination,” reports The Wrap.
Jackson, who filed the suit, alleged that the “Queen of Cholesterol” and her brother Earl W. “Bubba” Hiers maintained a vitriolic kitchen atmosphere of violence, physical intimidation, and sexism. Johnson claimed that the entrepreneurial siblings freely used the ‘N word’, and she also accused the pair of inflicting emotional distress on her while she worked at Uncle Bubba’s Seafood and Oyster House in Savannah, Ga., from 2005 to 2010 as the general manager.
Jackson was eventually terminated.
Johnson also alleged that employees would complain about the “universally humiliating” work environment at Deen’s establishment. For example, Deen, according to Jackson, said to her, “Well, what I would really like is a bunch of little n*ggas 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.”
In yet another alleged incident, outlined in the lawsuit, Jackson claims Hiers stated that President Barack Obama should be sent to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico so he could “n*gger-rig it.” He also allegedly printed out photos of women having sex with each other with a caption reading, “Why Gay Marriage Should Be Legal.”
Deen and Bubba have denied all of Jackson’s allegations.
Johnson says she eventually decided to call it quits as a Deen employee, because management did nothing about her complaints, which included sexual harassment.
In the aftermath of the Johnson allegations, Deen’s culinary empire began to crumble: The Food Network and other business partners, such as Wal-Mart, Target, Smithfield Foods, Caesars Entertainment Corp,. and the diabetes-treatment drug maker Novo Nordisk cut ties with Deen over the public brouhaha. Deen’s upcoming multi-book deal was also shelved by the publisher despite high pre-sale numbers.
Deen tried to undo the damage of the allegations by appearing on NBC’s “Today Show,” but in a bizarre demonstration, Deen cried crocodile tears and told host Matt Lauer that she didn’t know if the N-word is offensive.
Watch Paula Deen on the “Today Show” here:
Afterward, Deen fired her attorneys and agent and hired a D.C. crisis firm to undo the insurmountable damage that had been done to her reputation.