Steve Harvey’s willing to give Paula Deen another chance after her racial slur/discrimination scandal last year smeared reputation like so much butter.
Paula will be taking Steve up on a rare opportunity, according to a press release. The southern cooking guru, who is launching her own network, has accepted an invitation to share some of her culinary knowledge at the Steve Harvey Mentoring Camp.
He’ll announce their partnership tomorrow on “The Steve Harvey Show,” when Steve will see what she’s learned from the backlash she received for admitting that she’s used the n-word in the past–and sharing that she more recently wanted to have a dinner party staffed entirely by Black men. “I think it boils down to people just expected better from me,” she said. “I learned that words are powerful, and [be] careful of what you say.”
Now that she knows better, she wants to do everything she can to help the next generation. When Steve invited her to participate in his mentoring program for young Black men, she leapt at the chance.
“Paula and her team has agreed to take as many boys as I want to fly down to Savannah and teach them culinary skills,” Harvey says on the show. “That, to me, is how you get something from something. There has to be a good behind everything.”
Given that there are plenty of Black chefs that Steve could easily have tapped for this opportunity—Carla Hall, The Neelys and G. Garvin immediately spring to mind— many people are questioning why he chose Paula. One need look no further than all of the coverage this story has gotten.
As charitable as it is of Steve to offer Paula a chance for redemption, having Paula mentor Black boys was a carefully calculated move to promote “The Steve Harvey Show” and Steve’s mentoring camp. Meanwhile she gets to make another attempt at repairing her image. It’s a win-win for both of them. But given Paula entered scandal in the first place for saying she envisioned a wedding serviced by a staff of “n-words” serving the crowd in “beautiful white jackets with a black bow tie” the visual of her teaching young Black man to cook is disturbing.