By Karl Klockars in Miscellaneous on Nov 18, 2007 11:31PM
We were downtown at work yesterday when a co-worker said "What's with the protest outside? There's someone chanting for justice or something." Knowing from the "Saturday Plans" post that The Lady herself, Paula Deen was appearing, this was a head-scratcher. Who could be so upset at a TV chef? Besides the obvious, of course.
Well, fans of Food Network's favorite Southern mother probably showed up at the Chicago Theater Saturday expecting the use of a lot of butter and cream, an overemphasized southern accent, multiple references to her sons and maybe some cooking in there somewhere. What they weren't expecting was a protest from the Justice at Smithfield Campaign.
Deen is the spokesperson for Smithfield Foods, the worlds largest pork producer. You might have a Smithfield turkey in your fridge right now - they're the country's fourth largest processor of the bird. Smithfield Foods has also been accused of multiple human rights and working condition violations by the United Food and Commercial Workers union. Read more of their charges here.
Protests of the ever-ebullient Deen have followed her wherever she goes - on November 2nd they rallied at a stop in DC. It's not just her position as spokesperson for Smithfield that has the UFCW cheesed off at her. She's pledged on Larry King Live to meet with the workers to hear their complaints, but as yet hasn't made any effort to do so. Watching the above video, it's hard to see her as feeding us anything but the company line. Which is, of course, her job.
Image from Smithfield Justice.com.