Jesse Jackson's group looking into Deen empire - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Jesse Jackson's group looking into Deen empire

Paula Deen Paula Deen
SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

Jesse Jackson's Rainbow/PUSH coalition was in Savannah last week, talking to people who worked for Paula Deen's Lady and Sons restaurant -- and for her brother's oyster house -- Uncle Bubba's. 

Rainbow/PUSH Attorney Robert Patillo says problems with the restaurants go beyond current media reports, that the group has talked to several employees who say black people were held back from promotions, that racist and sexist jokes were tolerated and that one manager even called an employee a monkey.

"The 'n-word' is the smallest portion of this," Patillo said. "It's the manifestation of those personal prejudices into employment policies that have worked to injure individuals.

In a May deposition stemming from a lawsuit against her brother, Bubba Heirs, Deen admitted only to that n-word in the past but says it had been a quote "very long time ago." She has denied making racist jokes -- or allowing racial harassment.

Some doubting whether the Deen brand will recover. Smithfield -- the largest producer of pork products in the U.S. -- dropped Deen as a spokeswoman Monday, three days after the Food Network dropped her shows.

"Context is never an excuse for using derogatory statements toward any group or race of people," Public Relations and Brand Strategist Marvet Britto said.

Patillo says Rainbow/PUSH is coming back to Savannah this weekend to continue investigating employee claims.

Copyright 2013 WTOC. All rights reserved.

  • Region 8 News</span><a class="customMoreLink" href="/Global/category.asp?C=4391" target="_top">More >></a>Region 8 NewsMore>>

  • AHTD plans to widen Highway 49

    AHTD plans to widen Highway 49

    Thursday, July 20 2017 11:36 PM EDT2017-07-21 03:36:43 GMT
    Thursday, July 20 2017 11:41 PM EDT2017-07-21 03:41:29 GMT
    (Source: KAIT)(Source: KAIT)

    Since the early 1990’s, the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department has worked to widen Highway 49 and now, they are moving forward with continuing that project.

    Since the early 1990’s, the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department has worked to widen Highway 49 and now, they are moving forward with continuing that project.

  • Debate continues over healthcare, Medicaid funding

    Debate continues over healthcare, Medicaid funding

    Thursday, July 20 2017 10:51 PM EDT2017-07-21 02:51:11 GMT
    Thursday, July 20 2017 11:17 PM EDT2017-07-21 03:17:36 GMT
    Five Rivers Medical Center in Pocahontas (Source: KAIT)Five Rivers Medical Center in Pocahontas (Source: KAIT)

    The current debate over healthcare in the United States has included discussions over the future of the Medicaid program. 

    The current debate over healthcare in the United States has included discussions over the future of the Medicaid program. 

  • Crews responded to crash in Lawrence County

    Crews responded to crash in Lawrence County

    Thursday, July 20 2017 2:28 PM EDT2017-07-20 18:28:45 GMT
    Thursday, July 20 2017 11:12 PM EDT2017-07-21 03:12:43 GMT

    Lawrence County Dispatch said first responders worked a crash on Highway 25 between Lynn and Lake Charles.

    Lawrence County Dispatch said first responders worked a crash on Highway 25 between Lynn and Lake Charles.

Powered by Frankly