Dora Charles, Paula Deen's longtime chef, says she was asked to ring a supper bell like the woman pictured here. (Courtesy The Lady & Sons website, theladyandsons.com)

Paula Deen's Longtime Chef Says She Was Told to Dress as Aunt Jemima

ICTMN Staff
7/25/13

In a New York Times article published today, Paula Deen's chef of 22 years and her "soul sister" Dora Charles claims Deen asked her to dress in an old-style Aunt Jemima outfit when she prepared hoecakes—cornmeal pancakes—at a public station. Deen also allegedly requested Jones stand outside the restaurant to ring an iron bell at dinnertime, like the woman pictured above and on the website for Deen's Savannah, Georgia-based restaurant The Lady & Son's.

Charles refused to do both things. "I said, 'I'm not ringing no bell.' That’s a symbol to me of what we used to do back in the day," Jones told the Times.

So, instead, Deen had another employee, Ineata Jones, ring the bell.

In an accompanying New York Times video, Charles explained how Deen allegedly used the N-word, and when asked if she believes Deen is "racist in that way," Charles replied, "I do, I do."

RELATED:

In Legal Deposition, Paula Deen Confesses to Using the 'N Word', Telling Racist Jokes

Paula Deen Unsure If Black People Are Offended by the 'N Word'

Deen also allegedly promised Charles that she would share in the wealth Deen accumulated through her Southern food empire, the Times reports. But Charles made just $6 per hour for years at a time, struggling to afford her medication or to repair her "aging" trailer.

After Charles and other employees filed complaints with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Charles finally received a raise. Deen's son, Jamie Deen, who now runs The Lady & Sons in Savannah, bumped her salary to $71,000 per year and changed her title to "quality control manager." The raise, he says, was in no way connected to her complaint. A spokesperson for Paula Deen Enterprises even said: “Fundamentally Dora’s complaint is not about race but about money. It is about an employee that despite over 20 years of generosity feels that she still deserves yet even more financial support from Paula Deen."

Since Deen's May 17 legal deposition leaked, in which she admitted to making racial slurs at work, she has faced numerous allegations of bigotry and the queen of Southern cooking's image has suffered irreparable damage.

RELATED:

Paula Deen Accused of Making Racist Remarks

Paula Deen's Empire Crumbles

 

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Maureen's picture
Maureen
Submitted by Maureen on
What is wrong with Aunt Jemima? Aunt Jemima was a Nanny and Housekeeper, you mean to tell me that Nannies and Housekeepers should be ashamed of what they do? And as far as dressing as Aunt Jemima - what is wrong with that? I happen to have worn vintage clothes all my life. Black women in those days wore scarves on their heads because they didn't have the time and money to spend on their hair as many women do today. I think Aunt Jemima was beautiful. My Father had an Aunt Beverly who loved my Father and his brothers as her own. My Grandmother was mentally ill and couldn't take care of her family by herself. Ignorance is running rampant in this country.

Huh?'s picture
Huh?
Submitted by Huh? on
"Paula Deen's longtime chef".. "chef"? No disrespect to this woman but I'm pretty sure a person who has earned the title "chef" and works for someone who had the stature of Paula Deen over the last 20 years could have demanded much more than a mere $6.00 an hour and most likely didn't really deserve the $70k raise. This seems like B.S. and the usual media sensationalizing once again. I would love to have an opportunity to develop an opinion here, but as usual there is nothing but silly gossip for which to base any ideas and no real story. Thank you, once again, journalist of integrity. ;)

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
Gee whiz! Is this another attempt to smear Paula Deen's name? Weren't people satisfied by her losses earlier this year? Enough already. Leave her alone!

TC's picture
TC
Submitted by TC on
I think everyone needs to leave Paula Deen along. She has not done anything worng and people are just jealous that a Southern Girl made it big. A Chef doesn't work for $6.00/hour for 20 years.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
Of course white people are defending that she still thinks of African Americans as the HELP!!! And still has that old southern racist hospitality! Peace

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
Paula deen was out of line and very insensitive to black people.. No the woman shouldnt have to wear a stupid scarf and ring a bell. and as far as her pay check what kind of person only gives there cook $6 hr..that is pathetic. when you dont care about people that work for you.....It is insensitive and mean. No wonder she had so much bad luck...she didnt care about anyone but herself.....mayb she will learn a lesson. she is wrong. and ring the bell is stupid..

Surette's picture
Surette
Submitted by Surette on
There has been enough of the crying, They already did and Paula Dean already went through enough destruction over this crap, she has paid her dues and apoligized, NOW JUST LEAVE IT ALONE!!!!!

Isabel's picture
Isabel
Submitted by Isabel on
I am SICK of people like this smearing Paula Dean yet again. Aunt Jemima was a BELOVED figure, and ringing the dinner bell was done on farms all over America, and that includes all white farms with no blacks around. Paula is a brilliant marketer and Aunt Jemima represents good food and the dinner bell, "come and get it!". What in the heck is wrong with that??? Black racists and ignorant progressives are always making accusations like this. It is a crime. FIRE her, Paula.

Isabel's picture
Isabel
Submitted by Isabel on
I am SICK of people like this smearing Paula Dean yet again. Aunt Jemima was a BELOVED figure, and ringing the dinner bell was done on farms all over America, and that includes all white farms with no blacks around. Paula is a brilliant marketer and Aunt Jemima represents good food and the dinner bell, "come and get it!". What in the heck is wrong with that??? Black racists and ignorant progressives are always making accusations like this. It is a crime. FIRE her, Paula.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
Let me explain....Despite discovering America (as African Christopher Columbus did) and inventing numerous technologies, innovations, life-saving medical strategies and surviving slavery to become a race of people that are able to help each generation of their own and all Americans thrive--they are considered of "lesser value" and only GOD has an eternal place for us all. How can we judge or devalue a human life. The steadfastness, lovingkindness, patience and FORGIVENESS of African-Americans should make the entire American country super-proud and at least NOW in 2013 begin to demolish the "false fears" of their survival, and reward them for their abilities, capabilities and WELL-EARNED contributions of value to this nation. PAY THE WOMAN $250,000 annually plus royalities so we can all go home and rest this subject forever. She is the backbone to the empire that was built. That is America!

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
Blackface was the big trend this Halloween among Hollywood personalities. Once again, Paula was ahead of the curve! Go, Paula!

bertrand olivier sr's picture
bertrand olivier sr
Submitted by bertrand olivier sr on
Miss ,Mrs ,or Mz Paula doe'nt have a clue about the change in the culture today. I was in the store the other day and I saw that they still sell Aunt Jemima product ,but the picture had been altered. I guess in an attempt to modernize the image.All of us older people are products of that time in history. Why does the black men desire to continue to use something they don't like when they address one another. I am a 72 year old black man and I find myself sill weaning myself from using that word.That is the ONLY word that has no redeeming qualities and should be regulated to history. You can't forget history because its used to gauge our progress or lack thereof.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
Enough of this! Anonymous, You are so full of yourself, and this is the first time I've ever heard Columbus was african! Guess you think Jesus is african too huh?

Alex DeLarge's picture
Alex DeLarge
Submitted by Alex DeLarge on
I think this woman is WAY out of line, picking on poor rich Paula. And I think she should do a little dance and sing a tune for poor Paula to cheer her up!
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