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Paula Deen

Kmart & Sears

Bailing Out Too

6/28/2013 7:45 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0628_paula_deen_kmart_sears_tmz
Paula Deen can't apologize enough to stop the bleeding -- Kmart and Sears are now cutting ties with her in the wake of the n-word controversy ... TMZ has learned.

Sears Holdings -- owner of Sears and Kmart stores -- tells us, "After careful consideration of all available information, we have made the decision to phase out all products tied to [Paula Deen's] brand."

But the retail giants -- which carry Deen's cookware and dishware lines -- seem to be guilty of a little fence-sitting, because they added ... "We will continue to evaluate the situation."

Yesterday Home Depot, Target, and QVC also jumped ship ... following the Food Network's lead.

What's that saying about a pound of flesh?

0626_PAULA_DEEN_HAPPIER_FOOTER

199 COMMENTS

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Previous 15 Comments | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7
91.

Bagheera    

Don't worry, K-Mart and Sears will take her back in a couple of years. They took back Martha Stewart.

398 days ago
92.

Bridget    

Okay I pose to those all those haters, have you read the Deposition? I have read all 150 plus pages and I am now able to say that she is being falsely accused of saying things she didn't say and the story given by the media is inaccurate, ie it was her brothers wedding and she is being sued because she is 50% owner of the restaurant that is being sued.

398 days ago
93.

Sidnac    

Wow I believe what she said was wrong and she should feel some sting, but this kind of backlash is wayy to much. All I can say is that I believe in what comes around goes around and who ever pissed of the universe here will be paid back in full! Who knows there may be negitive stuff we dont know about Paula or it may be a bully that found a way to destroy Paula and took it to the end. IDK Either way everything balances out in the end. Always does.

398 days ago
94.

Ashleigh33    

Leave Paula Deen alone, this was forever ago. Oh well, she will still prosper more than the losers that started this!!

397 days ago
95.

MomOfFour    

So let me get this straight…
we can not only forgive a convicted rapist (Mike Tyson), but pretty much idolize him by giving him a one man show tour to sold out crowds. We can forgive convicted dog fighting athletes (Michael Vick) by welcoming them back to the sport & paying millions. We can forgive beating up partners (Chris Brown) We can forgive COUNTLESS celebrities for drugs, drunk driving, and ALL kinds of intolerable behavior. (. ….interesting the examples I gave above are ALL black!!)
BUT...we can't forgive the use of the "N" word by a, GOD FORBID, a WHITE WOMAN when it can be heard every single day by black 'artists'?
SERIOUSLY, Smithfield Foods, Publishing Company, Kmart, Sears, JCP (Who I have SUPPORTED for standing up for Gay rights) SHAME ON YOU!! I will NOT be buying any of your products again, unless you realize whoever decided to cut Paula loose was an idiot and is fired. If the Susan G Koman foundation can admit their mistake, so can all of you!!
ENOUGH!!

397 days ago
96.

AplMacLady    

RACIAL DISCRMINATION IN THE WORKPLACE

50.

Ms. Jackson, a Caucasian, white female, was subject to racially discriminatory conduct every single day she came to work.
51.


Paula Deen placed Ms. Jackson in charge of food and serving arrangements for the wedding of her brother Bubba Hiers in February 2007. When Ms. Jackson asked Ms. Deen what look the wedding should have, Ms. Deen replied, "I want a true southern plantation-style wedding." Asked by Ms. Jackson what type of uniforms she preferred servers to wear, Paula Deen stated, "Well what I would really like is a bunch of little ******s to wear long-sleeve white shirts, black shorts and black bow ties, you know in the Shirley Temple days, they used to tap
dance around." Paula Deen laughed and said "Now that would be a true southern wedding, wouldn't it? But we can't do that because the media would be on me about that.'' Ms. Jackson did not laugh, stating that "no, we can't do that;" a pregnant pause followed, and the meeting ended shortly thereafter. The same attitude prevailed with restaurant operations.
52.

At Uncle Bubba's restaurant, African-American staff persons are required to use the back entrance for all purposes, including picking up their checks. They were prohibited from using
the front entrance.

53.

African-American staff persons at Uncle Bubba's restaurant are required to use one restroom that is in the back of the restaurant and is not the customer restroom. White staff was allowed to use the customer bathroom.
54.

African-American staff persons stationed at the back of Uncle Bubba's restaurant are not allowed to go to the front of the restaurant.
55.

Ms. Jackson hired two African-American hostesses. Their position required them to be stationed in the front of the restaurant. Bubba Hiers complained repeatedly about one hostess being out front and she was later fired for allegedly stealing a white customer's purse. The police were called and the young woman was searched, but she was not arrested and no charges were brought. Mr. Hiers demanded that the other African-American hostess be moved to a position in the back of the restaurant where she could not be seen by customers.
56.

Ms. Jackson and her employees were surrounded in the workplace with the most vulgar and obscene racial comments, including the following:
a. Ms. Jackson was meeting with a vendor in her office at Uncle Bubba's restaurant when Bubba Hiers entered the office and slammed the door behind him, stating "I wish I could put all those ******s [in the kitchen] on a boat to Africa."

b. On approximately Friday, July 20, 2010, Bubba Hiers confronted an African­ American male kitchen staff person and repeatedly screamed at him, and physically and violently shook him, as set forth in detail in paragraph 60, below.
c. In Ms. Jackson's presence, Bubba Hiers said to his African-American security guard and driver, "don't you wish you could rub all the black off you and be like me?" The security guard responded, "I'm fine the way I am," whereupon Mr. Hiers replied that "you just look dirty, I bet you wish you could."
d. In the presence of Ms.Jackon and an Uncle Bubba's restaurant manager and a vendor, Bubba Hiers stated that "they should send President Obama to the oil spill in the Gulf [of Mexico] so he could ******-rig it.''
e. In the presence of a vendor who traps wildlife (e.g., raccoons) and Ms. Jackson,

Bubba Hiers stated, "you also got a bunch of coons in this kitchen you can trap." The kitchen was primarily staffed with African-Americans.
f. Bubba Hiers told jokes using the word "******" in front of the coordinator of a fundraising event at the Bethesda Boys Home. The coordinator, not employed by Defendants, expressed to Ms. Jackson her discomfort with Mr. Hiers and his language.
57.


Mr. Schumacher, on multiple occasions, told jokes or ridiculed the President of the

United States, using the word "******."


58.

In addition to being the personal target of sexually harassing behavior, Ms.Jackson suffered from having to experience the same degrading and humiliating behavior directed at her staff. Ms.Jackson also suffered from having to experience the racially discriminatory humiliation of her African-American staff. During her tenure, Ms. Jackson built a family of committed staff for whom she cared deeply. She was their supervisor and was responsible for providing them a safe work environment free from sexual and racial harassment. Despite many efforts to provide such a work environment, she was unable to do so. Bubba Hiers' conduct interfered with Ms. Jackson's relationships with the staff she called family and upon whom she relied to accomplish the business of running a restaurant, causing her immense personal emotional and physical distress. Employees came to her to complain and for help-help which
she was never able to fully provide despite seeking such help from managers and the attorney for the Paula Deen Family of Companies and from Paula Deen herself. Ms. Jackson was personally aggrieved and injured by the discriminatory harassment and abusive treatment of her employees.

VIOLENCE IN THE WORKPLACE

59.

During a meeting called by Bubba Hiers in the Uncle Bubba's restaurant kitchen one afternoon, Bubba Hiers began beating on his chest and challenging anyone and everyone in the kitchen to fight him. He screamed so loud that spit was coming out of his mouth, as he said "Come get some. Come on, you want a piece of me? Meet me on the dock you mother ****ers."
Ms. Jackson scanned the room in horror and saw her staff, recognizing the look of fear, disbelief, and helplessness in the eyes of individuals from the lowest working socioeconomic stratum of
the community who know personally outside the workplace the feeling of intimidation, violence and berating behavior. Mr. Hiers then stumbled out the back door to his truck and he was gone. Ms. Jackson's job was then, as it was many times after this incident, to control the damage so
that she could both comfort her staff, but also retain their services for the benefit of Paula Deen, Bubba Hiers and the restaurant.
60.

On July 20,2010, Ms. Jackson's report of a sexually harassing comment by a white staff person toward an African-American kitchen staff at Uncle Bubba's restaurant brought two African-American witnesses to the small office Ms. Jackson was required to share with Bubba Hiers. Seething with anger and red in the face with concern that the African-American male kitchen staff person might speak to someone about this incident, Mr. Heirs repeatedly screamed at him asking him what he saw. The witness' answer was "can I plead the 5th Amendment." Unsatisfied with that response, Mr. Hiers physically and violently shook him and stated, "**** your civil rights ... you work for me and my sister Paula Deen," saying further "you're not going to get me sued over some little bitch." Mr. Hiers proceeded to physically and violently shake this individual. Ms. Jackson was in the small office with both Mr. Hiers and this witness at the time. She and others nearby and in the kitchen feared for their physical safety, not knowing how far the physical violence might be taken by Mr. Hiers.
61.

The staff of Uncle Bubba's restaurant was in a constant state of fear awaiting Bubba

Hiers' arrival at the restaurant and any required interaction with him.
62.

The stress of repeatedly taking on the role of anticipating Bubba Hiers' violence, moderating it to the extent possible, and playing the go-between role with her staff caused Ms. Jackson enormous stress- stress that caused chest pains and evolved into panic attacks that
would often begin when Bubba Hiers' truck pulled into the parking lot or upon appearance of the white cup-the styrofoam cup poured almost full with whiskey at approximately 10:00 a.m. whereupon Bubba Hiers began his day of drinking and abusive behavior. When the truck pulled up or the white cup appeared, staff would scatter, leaving Ms. Jackson to manage Bubba Hiers.
63.

The outrageous and unlawful conduct thrust upon Ms. Jackson's staff was extremely distressing to Ms. Jackson and others. After cleaning up UncJe Bubba's restaurant upon her arrival, she staffed it with individuals who were poor but they were honest, hard-working and committed to making the restaurant a success. Ms. Jackson was responsible for providing them a safe and lawful work environment, but despite Ms. Jackson's repeated complaints to every level of management and ownership, she was unable to provide that environment.

COMPLAINTS OF HARASSMENT AND ABUSIVE TREATMENT

64.

For over five (5) years, Ms. Jackson made numerous and frequent complaints of racial and sexual harassment and abusive treatment to the highest levels of corporate management and ownership, including: Defendants Paula Deen and Bubba Hiers; Paula Deen Enterprises Chief Operation Officer (COO) and Director of Operations Theresa Fueger; the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) for the Paula Deen Family of Companies, Karl Schumacher; and to the attorney for Defendants, James P. Gerard. The conduct was universally known and tolerated
within the ownership and management levels of the corporate enterprise, and by corporate counsel and no remedy was offered.
65.


Ms. Jackson's pleas for relief from the harassment to senior management also took the form of requests made to Ms. Fueger and Mr. Shumacher for a transfer anywhere in the company
-even if it required a cut in pay- but she was told by them that Paula Deen would never let her leave Uncle Bubba's restaurant.
66.

The same request by Ms. Jackson was made directly to Paula Deen who told Ms.Jackson she could never leave Uncle Bubba's restaurant.
67.

Corporate counsel James P. Gerard would frequently call Ms. Jackson at home in the evenings and on the weekend to discuss and sympathize with the discriminatory conditions and abusive treatment she confronted.
68.

The harassment and abuse was severe in its form and pervasive in its application, and despite her numerous and frequent complaints and despite the continuing knowledge of the behavior by the highest levels of management, ownership and corporate counsel, and despite the patent illegality of the conduct, no remedy was forthcoming.

DISCHARGE FROM EMPLOYMENT

69.

In the Spring and Summer of2010, Ms. Jackson's conditions of employment became intolerable, having complained repeatedly and for years of harassment, discrimination and
abusive treatment to the highest levels of management and ownership to no effect.

70.

In March 20 I 0, the General Manager of Lady & Sons Restaurant General Manager Dustin Walls, who is one of the best friends ofPaula Deen's son Jaime Deen, threatened to fire all the "monkeys" in the kitchen, referring specifically to the African-American kitchen staff. Employees throughout the corporate enterprise became aware of the comment. Ms. Jackson's staff at Uncle Bubba's restaurant became aware of the comment, placing upon Ms. Jackson further significant personnel management challenges. At Paula Deen's direction, Mr. Walls visited Ms. Deen at her home whereupon she "slapped him on the wrist." She did not want to do that and she regretted it, but she was concerned that otherwise the NAACP would become involved. According to Karl Schumacher, "we have to show we are doing something."

This is not all of it either. She knew about all of this and let it go on. She's also used the "n' word in business meetings, made racist jokes etc... Businesses are run TOP DOWN.

397 days ago
97.

AplMacLady    

"I is what I is and I'm not going to change." And I can believe it

397 days ago
98.

Just My Opinion    

Well, bad move for K-Mart who had to close some of their stores to stay a float. Now if some people don;t go there because of this reason, they might have to close down a few more. I really don't shop at Sears and K-Mart a little, so would not miss them one bit if they close down.

396 days ago
99.

SandraR0se    

Quote:
I've finally had the opportunity to review the complaint filed against Paula Deen. For one, many people have been making this incident about the "N" word only, but it's much more than that. I personally find it to be offensive whenever someone from another race is accused of using the "N" word they are somehow given a pass because of the use of the "N" word by some in the black communities. Let me be the first to say that I find the use of the word by anyone to be wrong. However, when it's used in a racist or insulting manner, it hurts more.

I think individuals who are trying to defend Paula Deen's use of the "N' word should probably familiarize themselves with all of the facts of the case against her. Just so you know, in case you didn't know, the person who initiated the complaint against Paula Deen and her brother is not "Black." She is a "white female" who was subjected to years of abuse and was finally fed up with her black employees being treated like animals, so stop thinking it was a black person complaining about Paula Deen's use of the N word. Furthermore, Paula Deen indicated that she used the N word over 20 years ago. That is not what's being alleged against her. She went as far as telling a guy he was as black as a blackboard. That lady is something else and I'm glad I never supported any of her ventures. I personally find it insulting that so many black people are coming to the defense of Paula Deen after reading what she and her family subjected their employees to. When I learned about the major companies dropping Paula Deen without being demanded to do so, I knew it was deep. The fact that any civil rights activist is supporting Paula Deen is insulting and is a slap in the face.

Here's a summary of some of the things being alleged against Paula Deen, her brother Bubba Hiers and the Deen business entities:

Summary:

Paula Deen, while planning her brother's wedding in 2007, was asked what look the wedding should have. She replied, "I want a true southern plantation-style wedding." When asked what type of uniforms the servers should wear, Paula stated, "well what I would really like is a bunch of little n*ggers to wear long-sleeve white shirts, black shorts and black bow ties, you know in the Shirley Temple days, they used to tap dance around;

Black staff had to use the back entrance to enter and leave restaurant;

Black staff could only use one bathroom;

Black staff couldn’t work the front of the restaurants;

Brother Bubba stated his wishes: “ I wish I could put all those n*ggers in the kitchen on a boat to Africa”;

Bubba asked a black driver and security guard "don’t you wish you could rub all the black off you and be like me? You just look dirty; I bet you wish you could." The guy told Bubba he was fine as is;

Bubba on President Obama: they should send him to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, so he could n*gger-rig it;

He shook an employee (Black again) and said” F your civil rights…you work for me and my sister Paula Deen;

Paula’s son Jaime's best friend managed the Lady & Sons restaurant. He threatened to fire all the 'Monkeys' in the kitchen. When Paula found out…she slapped him on the wrist and suggested that the employee visited Paula's $13,000,000 mansion so he felt special and could be massaged.

I feel Paula Deen, her brother and anyone who treats people poorly should not be given a free pass. I wonder if Paula is truly sorry that she used the "N" word or that she was reported by someone who looks just like her. I appreciate the lady having the courage to report Paula Deen. It's people like her and the videographer who leaked the 40% comments made by Mitt Romney who should be receiving the attention, not Paula Deen.


Daryl K. Washington is an attorney located in Dallas, Texas. His practice includes Sports and Entertainment, Civil Rights, Litigation and Business Transactions. The opinions expressed in the commentary are those of Daryl K. Washington. You can reach Daryl at dwashington@dwashlaw firm.com or you can visit his website at DKW | Daryl K. Washington, P.C. Attorneys and Counselors at Law.

396 days ago
100.

clickityclack    

well those are stores I wont use in the future..

364 days ago
101.

clickityclack    

all and all, I cannot wait for the next presidential election after all the race cards that have been pulled in the last four years.. lmao

364 days ago
102.

clickityclack    

Boycott those businesses....now..take a stand for what is right

364 days ago
103.

clickityclack    

Boycott those businesses....now..take a stand for what is right

364 days ago
104.

Helen Brewer    

I was shopping at K-mart because they had not dropped Paula Deen. And I was so proud of K-mart. Now, they have jumped on the bandwagon too. I am so ashamed of K-mart. That used to be my store. Ms Paula, open your own store and to hell with all of them.

348 days ago
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