I Love Lucy rarely garners anything but love and nostalgia, but a recent photo posted online has gotten a very popular television personality in some hot water, and now she’s reportedly fired the aide responsible for sharing it on Twitter.
Paula Deen has cut ties with her social media manager–who hasn’t been named in the media yet–for posting a photo of her dressed as Lucille Ball from the hit sitcom. While that doesn’t sound like a fireable offense, the real problem is that her son, Bobby, was also in the picture and was dressed as Ricky Ricardo…complete with dark brown makeup. The photo was quickly deleted, but enough people saw it and shared it to make it go viral, and a backlash ensued.
“Paula immediately had this picture taken down as soon as she saw the post and apologizes to all who were offended. As such, Paula Deen Ventures has terminated their relationship with this social media manager,” a rep for Deen told Entertainment Weekly.
The I Love Lucy reference was seen as insensitive by many, especially coming just a couple of years off the firestorm Deen had on her hands when a lawsuit was filed by a former restaurant manager who claimed the former Food Network star created a “hostile work environment”, in part by using racial slurs. Paula was soon dropped by the network, but was later picked up for her own channel on Roku.
Though the photo has been scrubbed from Deen’s social media accounts, it originally appeared on Facebook in an album of outtakes from a Halloween episode of her (now canceled) show Paula’s Best Dishes, in which she and Bobby dressed as the I Love Lucy couple for the show.