Here's video from last night's episode of Law & Order: SVU that was inspired by Trayvon Martin's death and the recent Paula Deen scandal. Actress Cybill Shepherd played the Southern celebrity chef/restaurateur Jolene Castille, a sort of mashup of Deen and Martha Stewart, who shoots and kills an unarmed teenager outside her Upper West Side brownstone. Amid protests — one protester's sign reads "LET JOLENE CASTILLE FRY" — she is tried for manslaughter (spoiler alert: she's found not guilty). While there's never a mention of her having a TV show or anything, there is a scene set in her New York City restaurant "Chez Jolene" (which is actually the Gramercy restaurant Millesime; see insides over at Eater NY).
Just like the Deen story, it is very racially tinged. While getting booked, Castille says, "We both know if we were down home, I'd be getting a medal." Similar to how a transcript of a deposition by Paula Deen revealed her usage of the N-word and an infamous wedding concept — and collapsed her empire — in the Law & Order episode, deposition from a nine-year old old civil suit brought on by black male kitchen employees gets unsealed. It turns out Castille accused staff of stealing and referred to them as "field hands."
Castille tried explaining in court: "That was blurted out during a moment of duress. It's a vestige of the way I was raised. I meant no disrespect." She continued: "Like most chefs, I do have a temper. It gets hot in the kitchen and words get exchanged. The next night we drink and laugh about it. I love all of my employees, black and white. My black friends know what's in my heart... I have a gay Chinese assistant." You can see the full episode over at NBC, but here are a few clips:
Video: At Chez Jolene
"Summer at lunch time? This place is packed." "She's becoming a damned folk hero."
"New York is just blacks, Jews, and liberals, the DA just wants their votes."
It was also revealed that Castille once told Les Bon Temps magazine: "Nobody takes the subway in New York if they have to. It's like a jungle train through the Congo."
Video: Bathroom Conversation and Verdict
"I don't have any children, my restaurants are my babies."
LET JOLENE CASTILLE FRY