Paula Deen Fires Aide After Controversial Brownface Photo

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Paula Deen has fired the social media manager responsible for tweeting a photo of Deen’s son, Bobby, dressed as Ricky from I Love Lucy.

The photo – from a 2011 Halloween episode of Paula’s Best Dishes – was criticized for being racially insensitive due to Bobby’s brown face makeup and was promptly deleted. (The caption read, “Lucyyyyyyy! You got a lot of esplainin’ to do! #TransformationTuesday @BobbyDean.”)

“Paula immediately had this picture taken down as soon as she saw the post and apologizes to all who were offended,” says a rep for the celebrity chef in a statement to EW. “As such, Paula Deen Ventures has terminated their relationship with this social media manager.”

The photo was shot two years before Deen, now 68, was taken to court by a former restaurant manager who accused the TV chef of a hostile work environment “rife with innuendo and racial slurs,” the Associated Press reported at the time. During the ensuing deposition, Deen admitted to using the N-word.

The Food Network dropped Deen soon after the controversy. However, she is now the host of the Paula Deen Channel on Roku,the tagline for which reads, “I’m back on your TV, y’all!”

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