What in the fucking fuck: According to Jamie Deen's Twitter account, his brother Bobby Deen is going to be competing on Iron Chef America. He tweeted this morning: "He's filming an episode of Iron Chef today!" Their mom Paula Deen might be out of the picture for the time being, but her sons are hanging on. Last month the Food Network immediately pulled Paula Deen's shows from its programming lineup and didn't renew her contract following her disastrously botched PR job in response to some crazy racist allegations. However, the sleazy ratings-desperate execs at the Food Network kept her sons' shows on the air (Home for Dinner With Jamie Deen on the Food Network and Bobby's Not My Mama's Meals on the Cooking Channel).
The Food Network's plan is to bring Paula Deen back (if she doesn't screw it up). An insider at the Food Network tell Eater: "She'll be back in a year or two, under different terms. Maybe some guest spots." Instead of completely distancing itself from the Deen clan — note that Paula Deen and her many recipes still remain on the Food Network's website — the network appears to be carefully committing to a Paula Deen image rehabilitation strategy by trying to lift the profiles of Deen's sons. Iron Chef America is typically filmed six months to 1 1/2 years out from airing; it indicates incredibly long-term planning on the part of the Food Network. It's sad. The Food Network will exploit and devalue whatever prestige remains of the Iron Chef brand to fulfill its slimy goals.
Paula Deen is (wisely) being kept out of the spotlight for now by her new representation. Paula Deen bailed on the New York City Wine & Food Festival, but her sons are still keeping at it: NYCWFF organizers confirm that Bobby Deen will in fact be doing a "culinary" demonstration at the event on October 19th.
During the fallout of the racism scandal, the sons went on television to defend her. And just last week Bobby Deen was on Dr. Oz to promote his cookbook From Mama's Table to Mine. The extent of Bobby and Jamie's culinary prowess is running a restaurant, hosting television shows, doing live demos at festivals, and co-writing a bunch of cookbooks. The only reason they have a platform is because of their mother. And now the Deen sons' platform, with the help of the Food Network, will be leveraged to bring her back. It's a long con.