Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed spoke out Sunday while on Meet the Press about Georgia native Paula Deen’s revelations that she had frequently used racial slurs to describe African-Americans.
“It’s very unfortunate,” he said, “and completely unacceptable.”
“What she’s basically said is she used language from her childhood and growing up in the past, but we all have to change,” Reed continued.
“I think folks will be hearing what she has to say over the next few weeks. I think she’s apologized,” the mayor added. “She’ll continue to do that.”
The butter-loving, diabetes-diagnosed Deen was released from her Food Network contract Friday after lawsuit depositions revealed she had used the word “ni**er” in the past. The celebrity cook and her brother, Bubba Hiers, are being sued by a former employee who alleges that the pair regularly discriminated against black employees at their Savannah restaurant.
In the deposition, Deen said “of course” she had used the racial slur, but that it had “been a very long time.”
After noting she had grown up in an era of Deep South segregation, Deen also said she would never use the word in a “mean” way in modern times.
Watch Reed’s comments below, courtesy of Meet the Press: