Are These Celebrity Moms Racist?

Paula Deen during 2005 Toronto Film Festival

I’ve always liked Paula Deen. How could anyone not? She’s pudgy and adorable with a sweet southern accent and a love for good food. She also seems like a great mom and a genuinely kind person. So, you can imagine how shocked I was, as I’m sure many others were too, to hear she was fired from The Food Network for using a racial slur.

I have to say, after reading the story, I’m not sure Paula deserved to be fired. This happened way before anyone knew who she was. Not to say it’s ever okay to use that word. What she said was wrong. But she was asked a question about her past and she answered it honestly. Then she apologized, knowing what she said in the past was wrong. I think she was being sincere, and I think she deserves a second chance, just like so many other public figures who’ve made mistakes have received.

Another celebrity mom, reality star Kate Gosselin is now also being accused of racism over a photo she took a few years back. The photo is of Kate wearing a “plastic Asian dress-up” wig” that a “caring fan” had sent her, while holding her eyes back so they look slanted. She explained that the photo was a joke between her and her Asian-American ex-husband, Jon Gosselin, and she was doing it, not to make fun, but to change her appearance to look more Asian to go with the wig.



Essentially she was playing dress-up. She was imitating what someone else looks like. I don’t think that’s racist. In poor taste? Perhaps. Racist? Hardly. Especially from a white woman who married a Korean-American man and had children with him. She even went on to say that “a common topic on their show is ‘everybody’s Asian‘ — except for mommy,” and that “it’s normal to talk about and even ‘exaggerate’ the feature differences between family members of a biracial family as they are noticed by curious growing children within the family. These types of discoveries and at-home discussions are a normal part of being a loving, accepting, biracial family and it does not make any of us prejudiced!”

The fact is: we all look different. That’s what makes us all unique. Sadly not everyone sees the beauty of that and there is still a lot of racism happening every day. But I think we are calling out the wrong people for being “racist.”