ROGERS, Ark. (KNWA) — Paula Deen will be at a Rogers Walmart on Saturday to promote her new cookbook, but it was only six years ago that the retailer banished her products from store shelves over racial comments.
The popular and controversial southern cuisine chef will be at Walmart on Pleasant Crossing Blvd., from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. She will be promoting her book, Paula Deen’s Southern Baking.
However, in 2013 Walmart higher-ups removed all Paula Deen products from all stores amid a series of race-related controversies involving Deen.
Walmart media personnel did not answer questions KNWA sent to their publicity department asking why Deen was being brought in as a special guest at the Rogers store.
Below is a timeline of the controversy-related events in Deen’s past.
June 19, 2013: Deen admitts to using the n-word. The admission comes during a lawsuit deposition. However, Deen also said the following during the deposition: “That’s just not a word that we use as time has gone on. Things have changed since the ’60s in the south. And my children and my brother object to that word being used in any cruel or mean behavior. As well as I do.”
June 19, 2013: Lisa Jackson, the woman who brought the lawsuit against Deen, said Deen wanted her black employees to dress like Civil War-era slaves during a wedding she was planning.
June 21, 2013: A 2012 TimesTalk resurfaces in which Deen sympathizes with her ancestors who were slave owners. Deen said, “Black folk were such integral part of our lives, they were like our family.”
June 21, 2013: Food Network higher ups choose to not renew Deen’s contract.
June 26, 2013: Walmart representatives announce that the retailer will no longer carry Deen’s products beyond the orders that the retailer had already committed to.
Aug. 12, 2013: A federal judge finds that Jackson, who is white, does not have standing to bring claims of racism against Deen. However, the judge’s order has no effect affect on Jackson’s sexual harassment allegations in the lawsuit, which are focused on the conduct Deen’s brother, Earl W. Hiers, known as Bubba.
Aug. 23, 2013: Deen and Jackson reach a settlement “without any award of costs or fees to any party,” according to the Associated Press. Jackson released a statement, saying, “The Paula Deen I have known for more than 8 years, is a woman of compassion and kindness and will never tolerate discrimination or racism of any kind toward anyone.”
July 7, 2015: Deen posts a photo of her son wearing brownface as Desi Arnaz.