Tellwut Online Survey Finds 53% Believe Paula Deen Should be Forgiven For Racial Slurs

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With over 3,675 online panel members polled, a Tellwut online survey found that 53% of panelists felt Paula Deen should be forgiven for racial slurs, while 38% of participants felt she was sincere when she apologized for making the racial slurs.

Paula Deen apology survey results generated by Tellwut survey website

The racial comments made by the disgraced chef surfaced when a deposition taken on May 17th 2013 revealed that Southern chef Paula Deen had admitted to having a previous history of making racial comments; particularly in a situation that involved a black man holding a gun to her head when she worked at a bank. Although the offensive terminology predated Deen’s illustrious rise to fame, the admission generated an uproar amongst racial activists, social media, the media and her corporate sponsors; resulting in Deen making numerous public apologies in attempt to ‘save’ her public image and her growing empire. Tellwut surveyed its members to determine if the uproar against Paula Deen's comments and subsequent apology asking for forgiveness were in line with the general thinking of North Americans. Tellwut's online survey results showed a much more forgiving public.

Despite Deen’s desperate pleads for forgiveness, 12 corporations that were associated with Deen chose to end ties with the cooking mogul, according to an article in nypost.com on June 28, 2012, leaving many to question whether this would be the end of Deen’s lucrative cooking empire. When asked whether Tellwut panelists felt that The Food Network made the right decision by ending their contract with Deen, 41% of participants indicated that it was the wrong decision, while 31% of participants felt that it was the right decision and 25% remained undecided.

The decision of many companies to withdraw their contracts and various sponsorship deals with Deen, resulted in various dialogue and conversation questioning if there is a double standard in which certain individuals can make comments pertaining to race, while others cannot. When polled about this issue, the results revealed that an overwhelming 59% of participants felt that there is a double standard, while 22% did not feel that there is a double standard and 18% were undecided.

Overall, when asked whether the panelists believe that Deen should be forgiven for her disgraceful comments, 53% of participants believe that Deen should be forgiven for making racial slurs, while only 14% did not believe that Deen should be forgiven. In line with this result a Tellwut panel member commented that “people make mistakes, most times and deserve to be forgiven and should take responsibility for their mistake. Paula apologized and her mistakes should be forgiven […].”

The online survey results indicate that the majority of panel members believe that Deen should be forgiven for her past mistakes, leaving one to question if corporate decisions to pull sponsorship were pushed by huge media backlash or corporate values. Time will only tell whether Paula Deen will be able to repair the damage done, or whether her self-made multi-million dollar empire will crumble to pieces.

About Tellwut®
Tellwut is a North American community of individuals dedicated to expressing their opinions through online surveys based upon a wide variety of topics in exchange for rewards and the Tellwut community experience. The Tellwut community and proprietary survey and reward software application provide a platform for organizations to send surveys to their stakeholders or to crowdsource and conduct online market research through the use of the Tellwut survey platform and the Tellwut Community; thus allowing businesses a clearer understanding and insight into their products or services, customer attitudes and potential business opportunities.

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J Morson
TellWut Corp.
416-530-4724 4275
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Matthew Battiste
Tellwut Corp.
416-530-4724 4231
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