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Watch Bill Maher Defend Paula Deen: 'Do We Always Have to Make People Go Away?'

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Last night on Real Time with Bill Maher, the show's guests discussed the topic of Paula Deen getting fired by the Food Network following her botched apology for her racist deposition. Host Bill Maher called Deen a "hot mess y'all," but still came to her defense. "This may have been a shakedown," said Maher. "People may have been trying to shake her down, that happens all the time, so I'm not sure what the original charge is. But she did admit to using the n-word, so the Food Network cut her off..."

Maher asked rhetorically: "If you're 66 years old, and you were raised in Georgia, and you were a child before the civil rights movement, do you get a bit of a pass?" And Maher and his panel immediately said no. Maher was disappointed that Deen was kicked off the Food Network so quickly. "I also think that people shouldn't have to lose their shows and go away when they do something bad..." said Maher. "It's just a word, it's a wrong word, she's wrong to use it. But do we always have to make people go away?"

The best line of the night, however, was from food scold activist Michael Pollan, who incidentally was on the show to talk about his new book. Said Pollan: "It's really a loss because she's had such a positive effect on the American diet." Here's video:

Video: Bill Maher Defends Paula Deen

· All Paula Deen Coverage on Eater [-E-]
· All Bill Maher Coverage on Eater [-E-]
· All Michael Pollan Coverage on Eater [-E-]
· All PaulaDeenGate Coverage on Eater [-E-]

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