As I mentioned over the weekend when I wrote about the We support Paula Deen Facebook page, I am fascinated with the way social media is responding to what’s happening with her right now.
If you’ve somehow managed to avoid the news lately, the celebrity cook gave testimony that came out last week in a lawsuit in which she admitted to using the “N-word” a long time ago. Food Network and Smithfield have both cut ties with her, and QVC officials have said they are "reviewing their business relationship" with her. Her future as a businesswoman and television personality is unsure at the moment.
Earlier this morning, Deen gave an emotional, quiet, tearful and important interview with Matt Lauer on "Today."
Several things struck me about this interview (and darn it, I was actually crying with her at the end), but this one quote struck me the most in light of the social media storm swirling around Deen. “I am so distressed that people I’ve never heard of are all of a sudden experts on who I am.”
This leads me right back to my fascination with the social media storm swirling around her. On Facebook and Twitter and blogs, many people are adamant about who they believe she is. Some think she’s a racist. Some think she’s not. Some think she deserves forgiveness. Some think what she has done is unforgivable and she deserves to lose everything. People read the headlines and make up their minds. When I talk to my kids at dinner tonight about what I wrote today, that will be where I hope to lead the conversation — the importance of not making judgments based on headlines alone.
I can imagine that it is very distressing to have people who don’t know you telling the whole world who you are — even if they are defending you. I don’t want to add to her distress. So for now, I’m keeping my personal opinions about her to myself.
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