Paula Deen is in a legitimate scandal with this whole diabetes thing, and her clumsiness in handling it is getting her in trouble not just with the foodie set, but with groups that, with a little bit of courting, could have been her allies. Deen's in a low ebb right now, and she might just slink off the radar to become the Tanya Harding of celebrity chefs. But she can get her career back easily enough if she does some basic damage control. And there are plenty of examples to follow.
Deen's bad timing in announcing she'll be hawking a Novo Nordisk-made diabetes drug as she revealed she had diabetes earned her scorn from everyone from food lovers and health activists to advertising analysts and diabetes sufferers. Gawker's Hamilton Nolan called her a "greasy villain" for her craven hypocrisy in continuing to say fatty foods are alright, and Anthony Bourdain tweeted, now famously: "Thinking of getting into the leg-breaking business, so I can profitably sell crutches later." Diabetes advocates, for whom Deen could so easily have become a spokeswoman, now say she's a hypocrite for keeping her condition a secret for three years. And even the people who are supposed to be cool with cynically making money off image say she's taken things too far. On Thursday, Eric Webber slammed her in Advertising Age as setting a bad example:
"It's the kind of thing that gives our industry a black eye -- the reputation that we'll do anything, sell anything for money. That at best we operate in a gray area and at worst our ethical compass isn't well calibrated. That our most marked characteristic is not creativity but cynicism."
Read the full story at The Atlantic Wire.
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