TV chef Paula Deen came under intense fire Tuesday morning for a photo of her son in brownface that was posted to her Twitter account.
Later in the day, her camp announced that Deen did not post the picture herself and that the employee who did was fired.
The picture showed Deen and her son, Bobby, dressed as Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz on “I Love Lucy.” Bobby wore dark makeup on his face, an apparent reference to Arnaz’s Cuban roots.
The caption read, “Lucyyyyyyy! You got a lot of esplainin’ to do! #TransformationTuesday @BobbyDean.”
The photo was deleted from the account very quickly, but not before people grabbed screenshots and posted them all over Twitter, creating a public relations nightmare for the Deen, who lost her career at the Food Network in 2013 after acknowledging her use of a racial slur in the past.
That she had been in hot water before over racial matters made the tweeted photo seem that much more breathtaking.
“Paula immediately had this picture taken down as soon as she saw the post and apologizes to all who were offended,” her spokesman Jaret Keller said in a statement published by Entertainment Weekly and other media outlets on Tuesday.
“As such, Paula Deen Ventures has terminated their relationship with this social media manager.”