Paula Deen: Why are people trivializing her behavior?
She said she wanted to throw a party for her relative's wedding and have her African American employees dressed up as slaves. That's somehow all right with everyone?
She denied using racist terminology, to the point of fighting those allegations. That's called lying. Everyone's okay with that?
ETA: Since a lot of people seem to be unclear on the issue of just why Paula Deen's decision to exercise her freedom of speech in front of her employees is an issue, please remember that creating a hostile work environment is considered grounds for being sued in a court of law. If you stand behind her decision to use profanity when calling her employees names to their faces, then you must feel that her right to express herself supersedes an employee's right to work in a non-threatening environment.
Keep in mind, also that her creepy brother abused his position as well, either showing porn to the employees or leaving it where they would be sure to see it while also using profanity to their faces. Paula Deen did admit to these things in her deposition. Furthermore, Paula Deen has every right to bellow anything that pops into her head, no matter how offensive it is, wherever the hell she is at the time she thinks of it. That is not illegal. What is illegal is to force a company to employ her to represent them when she clearly is not suitable to behave like a normal person.
Let me put it to you this way: Let's say you have a nice successful company and thousands of people are applying to work for you every day. Now let's say that one of your employees suddenly goes rogue and starts babbling obscenities at your customers. Let's say the customers complain and sue you. Now let's say your employee lies about it, then admits it, then apologizes in a very half-assed way. Are you going to let them continue to work for you? Or are you going to cut her loose, knowing you can hire someone else to hawk your products?
Paula Deen was hired by many companies. The Food Network is chief among them, but she also worked for Smithfield Hams and other large companies, representing their products. There's her face, emblazoned across the product, a daily reminder to buyers that she said and did some horribly nasty things. Eventually, the people in the stores or watching tv are going to come to believe that the companies she represents also have the same profane values as this idiot. And they will stop buying those products, or watching that channel. Who wants such a liability representing their company? I sure as heck wouldn't.