Get Your Fresh Intelligence Daily

SUBMIT
Exclusive

Paula Deen's Brother Told Black Employee: 'You People Are All The Same'

//paula deen fired food net wide

Jun. 25 2013, Published 6:20 a.m. ET

Link to FacebookShare to TwitterShare to Email

Almost one week ago, RadarOnline.com revealed Paula Deen's shocking deposition testimony in which she admitted using the N word. But that was only the tip of the iceberg.

Now, a former employee is stepping forward to describe the painful racist attacks he endured as an African-American working in the kitchen of Paula's brother Bubba Hiers' restaurant in Georgia.

"Bubba talked to me like I was trash," Sheldon J Ervin, the oyster cook who worked under Bubba from 2008 to 2010 at Bubba's Oyster House in Savannah, tells RadarOnline.com in an exclusive interview.

Article continues below advertisement

Of the racist behavior he witnessed, he says: "I've been trying to tell people about what kind of stuff was going over there and no one would listen to me. Paula was too powerful."

In one instance, Bubba got mad at Sheldon over a small misunderstanding and things quickly turned racial.

"One day, Miss Paula had a book signing event at the restaurant and she gave me a signed picture for my grandmother because she was sick," Sheldon explains.

"Her assistant put it on my station in the kitchen because I was in the middle of my shift, working. Bubba came in and saw the picture there and thought I was disrespecting Paula or something. He didn't even let me explain before he started threatening my job.

"He talked to me like I was trash," Sheldon remembers. "He disrespected me so bad. He didn't use the 'N' word, but it was obvious he was talking around it because Lisa Jackson, the manager, was there watching."

Article continues below advertisement

"Bubba said to me, 'You people are all the same. You don't appreciate it when people are trying to help you succeed in life. You're always trying to make money off of people that are just trying to help you get ahead in the world."

"I was so mad, I almost went to jail over that," Sheldon recalls. "But I just kept telling myself, 'Calm down. Don't say nothing bad.'"

In another instance, one of Bubba's favorite employees, a white man named Mike, was less circumspect with his racial assault on Sheldon.

"I got into it in the kitchen one day with a white dude named Mike," Sheldon says. "I was trying to help him out where he was getting jammed during the rush, and he caught an attitude for some reason."

"In front of everybody, he started yelling, 'N****r' this, 'N****r that," Sheldon remembers. "I'm thinking, OK, Paula and Bubba and Lisa are going to handle the situation. They sent him home, but he was right back at work the next day as if nothing happened.

Article continues below advertisement

"As time passed, I started getting madder and madder about how I was being treated, and I started complaining to Uncle Bubba and Lisa Jackson," he says.

"They didn't pay me no attention until finally they found some reason to get me out of there and get me fired."

"I filed a suit," Sheldon explains. "I went down to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and I filed a complaint and they did nothing about it. I took all the procedures I was supposed to take and it didn't matter. I've been trying to tell people about what kind of stuff was going over there and no one would listen to me. Paula was too powerful."

But now, in the court of public opinion, justice has finally come for Paula and Bubba. Says Sheldon, "I am just super happy."

Advertisement

© Copyright 2021 Radar Media Group LLC. Radar and RadarOnline are registered trademarks. All Rights Reserved. People may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. Offers may be subject to change without notice.