Over the last several weeks, Livingsocial has been hawking a deal to the Metropolitan Cooking and Entertaining Show in Washington, D.C. Their biggest draw? Celebrity chef and recovering racist, Paula Deen. They began promoting it on May 29th, before the revelations of her past racism came to light. (A screengrab of the original deal is pictured on the right.) Since the original promotion was offered, they have sent email promotions using her name 20 other times. However, as the story unfolded, Livingsocial stopped using Deen’s name in promoting the event. The last mention was on June 20th, but they are still offering the promotion to the cooking show. If you click through to view the deal on their website, there isn’t a single mention of her on there.
Clearly, Livingsocial is trying to distance themselves from Deen, but what about the actual Metropolitan Cooking and Entertaining Show? They’ve issued a statement on Deen’s appearance at the event.
On the website for the event, they prominently feature a statement saying:
“Paula Deen has been a friend of The Metropolitan Cooking & Entertaining Show for many years. She has apologized and we are taking her apology at her word and moving forward accordingly. MetroCooking does not condone or believe in the use of derogatory slurs by anyone. This is a nation of forgiveness and second chances. In that spirit we intend to go forward with the MetroCooking Shows in Houston, Dallas and Washington, DC as planned with Paula as a presenter. At this time we have no plans to do otherwise.”
Things should get VERY interesting at the event, because Deen isn’t the only celebrity chef in attendance. Hugh Acheson, who runs a well-respected restaurant empire in Atlanta, will also be appearing at the event. Recently, Acheson was critical of Deen in this interview with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He told them that Deen is “one of these classic people who just do not understand that everything they’re saying is wrong. That mindset is just so dated. Some people just don’t get it. They don’t understand what racism really is.”