Celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain blasted Paula Deen via Twitter today. In a blatant barb, he tweeted, "Thinking of getting into the leg-breaking business, so I can profitably sell crutches later."
This, of course, comes on the same day that Deen announced that she has Type 2 Diabetes and that she's signed on to be the spokeswoman for a diabetes drug. Way to hit someone when they're down, what a jerk, was my original thought after reading his tweet. He's not exactly known for his tact. But the more I consider the details, the more I think his outrage over her behavior is justified ... this time.
You see, Deen didn't just find out she has diabetes. She's had it for three years -- three years during which she kept dishing up all of her fat-filled dishes and teaching America how to do the same. And now she's signed on to be the spokesperson for diabetes medication -- not Weight Watchers or some healthy lifestyle plan to help prevent the disease. So yeah, his analogy seems pretty accurate.
Of course Deen didn't purposefully make herself sick just so she could endorse a drug, but the message it all sends is not one that paints her in a favorable light.
Last year Bourdain called her the "worst, most dangerous person to America," and at the time I defended her. Everyone deserves a little indulgence once in awhile, and it's not Paula's fault if her recipes make people indulge a little more. We all need to find our own willpower, because if it's not Paula Deen, it's Hostess, or McDonald's trying make us all fat. Leave Paula alone.
But details in the news announced today make her appear nothing short of reckless. According to WebMd, "While not everyone with type 2 diabetes is overweight, obesity and lack of physical activity are two of the most common causes of this form of diabetes." Since Deen is clearly overweight, it's not a huge jump to assume her case is related. Even if by some weird stretch it's not, just knowing that obesity can lead to diabetes would have seemingly changed her fat-laden path or least have made her stop pimping it to the world.
Her health is her personal business, and I don't believe she or anyone else makes people fat but people themselves. But does Deen come off looking like she cares a lot more about the almighty dollar than about her health or that of her fans? Without a doubt.
As Bourdain told Eater:
When your signature dish is hamburger in between a doughnut, and you've been cheerfully selling this stuff knowing all along that you've got Type 2 diabetes ... it's in bad taste if nothing else.
Do you think Anthony Bourdain's tweet about Paula Deen was mean or justified?
Image via Food Network