TV chef Paula Deen, who got herself in hot water on the issue of race a while back, appears to have stepped into it again.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Deen posted a photo of herself in character as Lucy on “I Love Lucy,” with her son Bobby apparently playing Ricky Ricardo. The problem is that Bobby’s face appears to be painted brown, presumably to make him appear Latino.
THR reports: “The caption accompanying the photo reads, ‘Lucyyyyyyy! You got a lot of esplainin’ to do!’ with the hashtag ‘#TransformationTuesday.’ People on Twitter were quick to respond with their complaints. ‘Oh god you did not,’ said one Twitter user. ‘Paula, *you* have a lot of esplainin’ to do,’ said another.”
Some Twitter users are calling the makeup “brownface,” prompting considerable discussion of the concept.
THR notes that Deen has been embroiled in a race controversy before. “Her longtime cook brought allegations of racial discrimination against Deen, claiming the chef asked black employees to ring dinner bells and dress up like Aunt Jemima,” the story reports. “Deen has admitted to using the N-word in the past, and famously gave an on-air tearful apology about it once she was dropped from Food Network in the fallout.”