Paula Deen Reportedly Hires Fixer Judy Smith (The Inspiration For 'Scandal's' Olivia Pope)

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by Tambay A. Obenson
June 26, 2013 5:26 PM
19 Comments
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So word on the street is that Paula Deen has retained the services of D.C. crisis firm Smith & Co., which is run by one Judy Smith, the real life crises manager that the lead character in Shonda Rhimes' hit ABC series, Scandal, is based on - aka Olivia Pope, played by Kerry Washington.

Since admitting she used racial slurs during a recent lawsuit deposition, the southern celebrity cook and restaurateur has seen a slew of lucrative deals she once had, slip away rapidly, including her contract with the Food Network, and her deal with Smithfield FoodsCaesars Entertainment and more. 

QVC is reportedly still deciding whether or not it will drop her as well.

So clearly Deen is in desperate need of a "fixer" who can "handle it." And who better than Judy Smith, the former White House press aide under President George H. Bush, who also counseled Monica LewinskyMichael VickSenator Larry Craig, worked on the prosecution of former D.C. Mayor Marion Barry, the Clarence Thomas Supreme Court hearings, the Chandra Levy investigation and the Enron Congressional inquiry, amongst others.

Needless to say, I won't be betting against Smith, although I did wonder whether she considered not taking the job, given the the client and what the client did, since Smith herself is black.

But I suppose it's a job like any other. She's getting paid to do what she does very well, and she maybe can't get too emotionally caught up in the specifics, regardless of her own personal beliefs about the client or the case. 

After all, wasn't there an episode of Scandal in which Olivia Pope took on a rapist as a client?

But don't be surprised if this entire Paula Deen story inspires an episode of Scandal next season. 

No comment from Smith on the Deen case.

Gladiators - get to work!

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19 Comments

  • urbanauteur | June 27, 2013 9:38 PMReply

    Paula Deen Paula Deen i wonder if she's any kin to Jimmy..?

  • Sterling Cooper | June 27, 2013 10:12 PM

    Good one, UrbanAuteur! High five!

    Also, sike.

  • Donella | June 27, 2013 2:10 PMReply

    It's already being "fixed." The conversation has shifted to Deen's use of the N-word, rather than her operating a hostile workplace that allows sexual harassment, violent language, and racial discrimination. HANDLED!

  • Miles Ellison | June 28, 2013 12:00 AM

    Pretty pathetic how easy it is to shift the conversation. A white person who grew up in Georgia in the mid 20th century used the N-word. What a surprise. If you had a dollar for every white person in the south who HASN'T used it, you'd have a lot less than a dollar.

  • FactChecker | June 27, 2013 11:18 AMReply

    Regarding comments by Sphinx: maybe a better defense by Paula would be to call out other white people she knows who've used the word, or just generalize that lots of whites use it. ... You know, crabs-in-the-barrel defense.

  • Sphinx | June 27, 2013 6:26 AMReply

    The saga continues.

    Was recently having a conversation about the percentage of whites who have likely used the "N" word at sometime in their lives. My guess was 97 percent. Think about it - someone cuts you off, bad drive through service, poor customer service from your credit card or cable company (and there is a perception that the CSR is "ethnic")', you KNOW they let the "N" word fly. And the point about Hip Hop is key as well - I asked a white friend of mine whether, when listening to Hip Hop in her car, did she skip over the uses of the "N" word as she sang along.

    She smiled sheepishly and told the truth. You know what the truth is.

  • ashley | June 27, 2013 3:49 AMReply

    Like I said on Jezebel....either Paula hired them after her Today Show interviewed or Paula just got trolled by Judy herself. Either way, my popcorn will be ready for whatever Scandal episode this appears on....

  • FactChecker | June 27, 2013 12:37 AMReply

    My favorite line from Paula's Today Show Interview: "I Is Who I Is," she tearfully told Matt. I fell out of my chair over that southern code switch. ... I wasn't a fan of PD's, but as some more astute writers, than myself, have pointed out her age really isn't an excuse. She's about 64, not 94!! So she's not so old as to not understand the implications of the use of the word, or how not so carefully constructed conversations about the past might be misconstrued by others. ... Also, what's interesting, but hasn't received a lot of press is the employee suing her and making these claims is white, which makes the situation even more interesting.

  • Nadia | June 26, 2013 11:30 PMReply

    Straight hi-la-rious! Maybe Paula is trying to say that she's not racist because she hired a black fixer Lol.

  • lauren | June 26, 2013 8:08 PMReply

    Not a fan of Paula Deen.... but I just remembered when she was on Oprah cooking and humming It's your birthday by 50 cent and Oprah was surprised she knew his "music"... surely the widest proliferation of the N word today as well as the confusion of who can use it, is owing to hip hop; a genre whose base, and negative imagery of black folks is beyond the wildest propaganda of any white supremacist. All of us who shake our booty to lyrics that malign our worth as women, as a people and feel a false sense of pride when reading how JayZ, himself an N word slinger, finessed that five million dollar deal with Samsung, are part of the problem. It's time to own our contribution to the toxic trough.

  • lauren | June 26, 2013 8:48 PM

    @... I'm sure you're right about that... she's old skool in the worst way, but it doesn't change the damage done by soulless and unaccountable garbage.

  • ... | June 26, 2013 8:32 PM

    I'm willing to bet that Paula Deen's use of the word preceded 50 cent, rap, and hip-hop, and her continued use of the word has little/nothing to do with the influence of that music.

  • ... | June 26, 2013 7:15 PMReply

    Well, if Smith is going to be her fixer, I hope she'll get Deen to fix her mindset so she won't think it's ok to regard (disregard, rather) people of color the way she does.

  • B | June 27, 2013 8:07 PM

    @ lauren & ScriptTease |
    Paula is 66 not a 166. She was 16 when MLK gave his I have dream speech. So she knows a 50 cent song, Strom Thurman had a 1/2 black child. Did she learn to degrade her Black employee during a NYT interview (2012) in a room full of people by saying he was"Black as This Board". She defended slavery in that conversation as well.. saying the south was less racist because slaves were like family...what's decent about that?
    Go to YouTube and search

    Paula Deen To Black Pal: 'Can't See You Standing Against That Dark Board!'

  • Christopher | June 26, 2013 6:17 PMReply

    Free O.J.

  • ScriptTease | June 26, 2013 5:42 PMReply

    I ain't mad at Paula, and in spite of her ignorance I believe she is genuinely a decent person. The only thing that pisses me off about this whole Paula Deen is the "white folks". They just assume black folks are the ones hollering foul when in fact this whole ordeal is spear-headed by the White Female complainant, so every chance I get while visiting the message boards and blogs, I point that out to them.

  • ... | June 26, 2013 7:11 PM

    There's nothing decent about that type of ignorance or its expression, though, or even that "I ain't makin' no trouble for ya White folk" apologist comment you just made.

  • reg | June 26, 2013 5:41 PMReply

    looking at the list of past clients in your post, i don't see why she'd turn down deen's money. besides, anybody who's proud of being the role model for "olivia pope" is capable of anything.

  • Ben Je | June 26, 2013 5:40 PMReply

    I now see why people say life is stranger the fiction....lol......

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