Steve Harvey has recruited Paula Deen, the former television chef star formerly accused of racism, to teach culinary arts through his mentoring program and the comedian does not "give a damn" about criticism.
During a segment on the Steve Harvey show, the host said Deen is looking ahead after her food empire fell apart following accusations from her former employee that she used the n-word in a conversation about the desired dress code for servers at her brother's wedding.
"She's saying, 'Look I made a wrong, this is who I really am and this is how I want to present myself,' so as a part, she's going to be helping boys from my mentoring camp," Harvey said.
In August 2013, a judge dismissed the racial and sexual discrimination lawsuit filed against Deen by Lisa Jackson, Deen's former employee. "Paula and her team have agreed to take as many boys as I want to fly down to Savannah and teach them culinary skills," Harvey said.
Deen lost at least $12 million following the allegations. The Food Network dropped her in June 2013. By July 2013, she had lost endorsement deals from Target, Home Depot and Walmart. To add to her problems, Deen's restaurant, Bubba’s Oyster and Seafood House, in Savannah, shuttered in April. In February, she launched Paula Deen Ventures, and acquired $75 million and $100 million for her new company.
Harvey wants to give her a second chance and says he sees "the good" in Deen. "And the good outweighs the bad by a landslide," he said to his audience. Harvey also had a message for the bloggers out there who are against his decision to welcome Deen to his team of mentors.
"When you blog about me, put also in the blog, could you please type, right after you get through typing, that I dont give a damn?"
Harvey launched the Steve Harvey Mentoring Program for Young Men in 2009 and his wife, Majorie, runs a mentoring program for girls called Girls Who Run the World.
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(Photo: Genie LaVine/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank)