The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Paula Deen apologizes, fires social media manager after ‘brownface’ tweet

(Carlo Allegri/AP)
Placeholder while article actions load

Celebrity chef Paula Deen fired her social media manager following a tweet Tuesday morning from her account showing a picture of her son in brown makeup as “I Love Lucy” character Ricky Ricardo, a Deen spokesman said.

The “Transformation Tuesday” tweet was later deleted, but not before drawing criticism online; her son, Bobby, is shown wearing the makeup in his portrayal of the Ricardo character, a Latino played by Cuban-born Desi Arnaz. NBC News captured a screenshot of the image, which you can see here.

Deen spokesman Jaret Keller said the celebrity chef’s social media manager posted the photo of Deen and her son dressed in costume for a 2011 Halloween episode of “Paula’s Best Dishes.

“Paula immediately had this picture taken down as soon as she saw the post and apologizes to all who were offended,” Keller said. “As such, Paula Deen Ventures has terminated their relationship with this Social Media Manager. ”

Other images from that Halloween episode remained in a 2011 Facebook photo album on Deen’s page for several hours after the controversy, until they were ultimately removed; NBC also has screenshots of those here.

Deen’s career suffered tremendously after she admitted in a 2013 deposition that she had used a racial slur. Her Food Network show was canceled.

She later appeared on the “Today” show and tearfully told Matt Lauer “I am not a racist.”

Celebrity chef Paula Deen said that the last year was “the biggest learning opportunity of my life” during an interview with Steve Harvey that will air Oct. 2. Deen was fired from the Food Network due to a racial discrimination scandal last year. (Video: Reuters)

Read More:

Paula Deen serves up another racism-scandal apology, with a side of self-promotion

Paula Deen is gearing up for a serious comeback