Pop Culture

Paula Deen Needs To Donate Some Money; How 5 Other Celebrities Got Out of Jams

It just keeps getting worse and worse for Paula Deen. Over the weekend, the celebrity chef was dropped from her publisher Random House's Ballantine Books. Deen and Ballantine were due to release Paula Deen's New Testament: 250 Recipes: All Lightened Up in the fall, but the company is now yanking the cookbook before it hits shelves. This decision was surely not made lightly considering the book is already No. 1 on Amazon in pre-sales.

Deen is really in a pickle and it's not a homemade pickle from cucumbers she grew from her garden. It's a nasty pickle bought on sale at Dollar General. Last week the chef showed up on The Today Show in what was supposed to be a fervid apology, but it felt more like a random act of bate and switch; Deen talked a lot about how children need to be raised to not use hateful language. Err... it wasn't our children spouting out the worst of the worst offensive; it was you.

Crisis communication teams, AKA people who do nothing all day but come up with ways to get out of bad situations, are probably having a field day with this one. Where is Deen's backup on this thing? From an outsider's perspective it looks like even her PR people have thrown their hands up in the air, and I am not sure why. This is a bad situation for her to be in, no doubt, but there have been much deeper holes that celebrities have dug their way out of. Why hasn't Deen bought a school for children in Africa yet? That's how you get yourself out of this!

Deen should set up her all-star kitchen in a homeless shelter and feed the hungry (go easy on the butter though), she should go to Indonesia and hug little girls who she just taught how to read her cookbooks, or maybe she should build an ark and take two of each animal on it for safekeeping. All it takes is a little outside the box thinking and a lot of money, and she'll be back on the Food Network in no time. These people did it, Deen can too.

5. Mark Zuckerberg

What Did He Do That Was So Bad? He was a total dick. Right around when The Social Network movie was due to release, the buzz around Zuckerberg was that he basically stole the idea for Facebook from the Winklevoss twins and he became a zillionaire while they were forced into doing pistachio ads. Plus, Jesse Eisenberg's portrayal of Zuckerberg made him look like a sociopath and a nerd!

What Did He Do To Get Out Of It: He donated $100 million to New Jersey schools, and the dude isn't even from the Garden State.

4. Alex Baldwin

What did He Do That Was So Bad? He left the nastiest voicemail for his daughter, calling her a "rude, thoughtless little pig," and it was leaked for all the doting mothers of the world to hear -- not the nicest way to treat your daughter or your fans.

What Did He Do To Get Out Of It: He quit 30 Rock. Baldwin allegedly said that he didn't want his insensitive actions getting in the way of the success of the show, so he'd be the bigger man and leave. This apology was almost like a threat to the entire 30 Rock loving world, and they immediately forgave him as long as he promised to play Jack Donaghy forever.

3. Justin Timberlake

What did He Do That Was So Bad? Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson performed during the 2004 Super Bowl Half Time show, and Timberlake decided to go to second base during their duet. Jackson is the one that flashed everyone, but Timberlake wound up being the one to do the heavy apologizing.

What Did He Do To Get Out Of It: He brought sexy back. Literally. Justin Timberlake just acted awesome, and we all forgot about the duo's stupid stunt.

2. Lindsay Lohan

What Did She Do That Was So Bad? Where do I start? What hasn't she done is a more appropriate question. I guess she's never killed anyone, besides her own innocence and career.

What Did She Do To Get Out Of It: In 2011 after a string of screw-ups, Lohan donated $50,000 to The Baby and I Foundation, which is based out of Atlanta and provides assistance to young mothers in need. Lohan apparently made the donation in honor of her own mother for doing such a good job of raising her. That doesn't make any sense at all.

1. Bill Clinton

What did He Do That Was So Bad? It seemed like a collective American nightmare: the president of the United States is caught for being inappropriate with a young intern. Their affair was all over the news; there were allegations of cigars being involved. The first lady was mortified as was their daughter, who was already having some growing pains at the time. People demanded Clinton step down or face impeachment.

What Did He Do To Get Out Of It: Let's see, after the affair he successfully put into place the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), the largest (successful) health care reform in the years of the Clinton Presidency, the Adoption and Safe Families Act and then he succeeded in helping pass the Foster Care Independence Act. He also negotiated the passage of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 by the Republican Congress. And he was the first president to since 1969 to bring the US into a projected federal surplus. Sex scandal or not, after he left office his approval rating was 66 percent, which was better than both Reagan and Kennedy.

KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Abby Koenig
Contact: Abby Koenig