Amid reports that Paula Deen’s eldest son, Jamie Deen, has lost his cooking show on the Food Network, Jamie has posted a photo of him with an older African-American woman other Deen employees claim was “forced” to dress as Aunt Jemima.
The claims have re-ignited the accusations of racism that hang over the family. The image that Jamie posted was captioned “Don’t tell [my wife] Brooke. #jellyroll #sugar.”
According to the Daily Mail, the woman in the picture is Ineata “Jellyroll” Jones, an employee of Paula Deen who found herself at the center of the racist accusations last year. In 2013, the Columbus Dispatch said that “Deen used Jones for restaurant theater. At 11 a.m., when the doors opened at [her restaurant] Lady & Sons, she stood in front and rang an iron dinner bell.” Jones was tasked with making hoecakes in an open kitchen station for all the customers to see, and according to the Dispatch, “Deen wanted Jones to dress in an old-style Aunt Jemima outfit.”
Former employee and Jones’ cousin Dora Charles said that Jones didn’t want to.
“Jellyroll didn’t want to hear that. She didn’t want to do that.” Jones did, however, dress up in an Aunt Jemima-style costume and postcards of her ringing the bell were sold in many Deen souvenir shops. Jones never criticized her boss, but others have taken offense to the ill-advised photo posted by her son.
One twitter user, LaVerne Mack, wrote, “Wow, did Paula Deen really call one of her workers Jelly Roll? I find that more offensive than the N-word.” While “jelly roll” is associated perhaps most commonly with Jelly Roll Morton, a jazz musician, it is also slang for a black woman’s genitalia.
Deen’s questionable tweet comes amid a New York Post report that his Food Network Show, “Home For Dinner with Jamie Deen” will not be renewed for a third season. Meanwhile, Paula Deen continues in her attempt to salvage her image. She announced on the 11th that she is kicking off a new subscription network that will feature content from her sons, as well as her own show, for $10 a month.
Source: Daily Mail