I’ve been mesmerized by the response on social media to the firing of Paula Deen from the Food Network after testimony this week about her use of racial slurs. The network issued a statement saying her contract won’t be renewed, and according to Food Network Gossip, Deen’s regularly scheduled Saturday morning show has been replaced.
I haven’t had a chance to read through the 149 pages that contain Paula Deen’s full testimony yet (and honestly, I probably never will), so I would be wrong to form an opinion about what she said and what the network did.
Still, I’m intrigued, as I always am, by the response and the things people will say on social media. Last night before I went to bed, the things I was reading on Facebook from my friends, on Twitter and in comments on news stories were very anti-Deen.
This morning, the tide seems to be turning. There are many people showing signs of support on Twitter, and a Facebook page has popped up called 'We support Paula Deen.'
When I began typing these four paragraphs about 15 minutes ago, the page had more than 72,000 likes. I just refreshed the page, and it now has more than 75,000 likes. It’s growing rapidly.
I suspect that Food Network decided to not renew Deen’s contract because they believe they would lose viewers if they kept her on air. This isn’t her first controversy. Last year, Deen took a lot of public and media heat when she announced she had diabetes and would be earning money by representing a diabetes drug. Perhaps the network thought with this new controversy, she would be a liability.
But will the now 76,281 likes the 'We support Paula Deen' page has and other public support make the Food Network reconsider its relationship with Deen?
I’m not saying it should. I’m not saying it shouldn’t. But, I’m really curious if it will. How about you?
(For the record, right before I hit publish on this blog post, the Facebook page like count had gone up to 78,113.)
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