Celebrity chef Paula Deen faced fresh accusations of racism Tuesday morning after tweeting a photo of herself and her son Bobby Deen in costume as the stars of the legendary sitcom “I Love Lucy.”
The since-deleted photo, which tabloid Page Six noted appears to date back to the 2011 Halloween special of Deen’s now-defunct Food Network cooking show, shows the celebrity chef dressed as Lucille Ball. Her son appears to have darkened his skin to look more like Cuban actor, Desi Arnaz.
Paula Deen deleted this tweet pic.twitter.com/TBq4ftCaES
— Peter Ogburn (@peterogburn) July 7, 2015
“Lucyyyyyyy! You got a lot of esplainin’ to do! #TransformationTuesday,” the photo caption read.
Twitter users swiftly called Deen out for the photo:
Can somebody PLEASE toss another ham at Paula Deen’s head? She needs some serious cognitive recalibration. https://t.co/XT9a5aQnRL
— Mere Smith (@EvilGalProds) July 7, 2015
— john r stanton (@dcbigjohn) July 7, 2015
This begs just one question.
WHY THE HELL DID PAULA DEEN TWEET A SUPER RACIST PHOTO FROM 2011
— Kevin O’Keeffe (@kevinpokeeffe) July 7, 2015
Deen’s publicist declined to comment on the photo to Yahoo! News.
Deen was dropped from Food Network in 2013 after she admitted in a videotaped deposition to using the N-word and to telling staff that she wanted her brother to have a ‘”southern plantation wedding” featuring an all-black waitstaff. Deen gave the deposition for a discrimination suit against her, her company and her brother. The fallout from those comments cost her several other lucrative business relationships.
A new Food Network show featuring Bobby Deen and his brother Jamie, “Southern Fried Road Trip,” is scheduled to premiere Monday night.
Update: Paula Deen has fired the social media manager who tweeted the photo, a spokeswoman for her company, Paula Deen Ventures, told BuzzFeed News:
A Paula Deen spokesman tells BuzzFeed News a social media manager is to blame for brownface Twitter pic pic.twitter.com/Xy3D3TFv34
— Stephanie McNeal (@stephemcneal) July 7, 2015
Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.