And there is still profit to be squeezed from the Paula Deen brand. Deen’s products — through collaborations with Meyer Corporation, among others—had seen a reported 35 percent sales increase in the first two quarters of this year; subscriptions to her magazine reportedly grew by 40 percent. (For perspective, in those two quarters, paid subscriptions for magazines in general faltered 1.8 percent and single-copy newsstand sales fell a significant 11.9 percent from a year before.)
An investment in Paula Deen conveys a deep understanding of America’s political temperature and where we’re headed: that Paula’s comeback isn’t about forgiveness — it’s about standing her ground. Even in her pre-scandal life, she didn’t care when Anthony Bourdain called her “the worst, most dangerous woman in America.” No, she was defiant. “There was a time,” her recipes always seemed to say, “when we didn’t ruefully chew our tree bark and soy cheese on gluten-free foam bread in the hopes of making it to 94. We lived. We ate, and we enjoyed it — right until the moment we suddenly clutched our chest on a golf course, keeled over and died at the age of 69. Men had died so we could do this.” Now we are a nation that is leaning further and further toward conservative clansmanship and white tribalism, and this sets Paula on her way to being a true tycoon of her own martyrdom.
— At Matter, Taffy Brodesser-Akner examines Paula Deen’s career trajectory after her contract wasn’t renewed at the Food Network and finds that Deen’s die-hard supporters have helped her make millions post-scandal.