Deen faced scrutiny last year when a former employee of Uncle Bubba’s, Lisa Jackson, filed a lawsuit claiming she had experienced sexual harassment and racial discrimination. In a deposition for the case, Deen admitted that she’d used the N-word — “of course,” she said — and told questioners she’d admired a plantation-style wedding reception outfitted with middle-aged black men in dinner jackets because it was reminiscent of the antebellum period.
The judge in the case, William T. Moore, dismissed the racial discrimination claims because Jackson did not fall under the protected class of individuals who faced the alleged discrimination — Uncle Bubba’s black employees. Jackson is white.
Thursday, Deen suddenly closed the Savannah, Ga., restaurant, which she co-owned with her brother, Bubba Hiers.
What’s more, she didn’t tell her employees but let them show up to work, only to find kitchen appliances being removed from the restaurant. The Savannah Morning News reported that employees were collecting their severance checks in the parking lot.
The restaurant posted a short announcement on its Facebook page: “Thank you for 10 great years. Uncle Bubba’s is now closed.” Commenters blasted Deen for not informing restaurant workers before posting the news on social media.
Deen was the target of not one, but two of Twitter’s most clever attacks of gallows humor with #PaulasBestDishes and #PaulaDeenTVShows, after testimony from her deposition was released. Twitter was quick to note the news Thursday as well.
A look back:
@meredithclark FYI —> Delayed #BlackTwitter Effect .. #PaulasBestDishes http://t.co/4n9ZEjwUt0
— April Davis (@April_Davis) April 3, 2014
“Lmao@ParallelRhymes: Soon to be in a store near you @Paula_Deen‘s White’s Only Rice #PaulasBestDishes http://t.co/T2psF7g6bE”
— 13thsun (@da13thsun) June 24, 2013
I bet Paula Deen enjoys a glass of this tea to start her day. #paulasbestdishes pic.twitter.com/ncy13sw9J4
— Yeah That Brandon (@djstrike1) June 24, 2013
How I Met Your Mother and Then Asked Her to Play a Slave at a Wedding #PaulaDeenTVShows
— Genevieve Rice! (@genevieverice) June 22, 2013
“Some of my best friends are black eyed peas” *throws phone* I hate y’all! #paulasbestdishes
— Starr R. (@GangStarrGirl) June 20, 2013