The now former Food Network personality’s biggest fans and supporters turned out in droves to her restaurants over the weekend, after her racial slur controversy dominated national news last week.
The New York Times reports fans — both African-Americans and whites — lined up outside of Deen’s restaurant in Savannah, Ga., on Saturday to discuss boycotting Food Network. The cable channel decided to end its relationship with the folksy southern cook on Friday.
“I get it, believe me,” said Nicole T. Green, a 36-year-old African-American, who told the Times she had made a detour from a vacation in New Orleans support Deen. “But what’s hard for people to understand is that she didn’t mean it as racist. It sounds bad, but that’s not what’s in her heart. She’s just from another time.”
The outpouring of support comes as the New York Times reposted a brow-raising video interview of Deen discussing race relations in the south. The interview was done in 2012.
“I have a young man in my life… and he’s as black as that board,” Deen said, pointing to ablack backdrop she and a New York Times reporter were seated in front of. Moments later, Deen summons the young man to the stage with her.