Steve Harvey Recruits Paula Deen to Teach at His Mentoring Program

Deen to teach culinary skills to the young men

Image: File

Paula Deen is working hard in 2014 to defend her character and win her career back.

Her latest effort to dispel past reports of racist behavior is her newest partnership with Steve Harvey. On Oct. 2, the TV host announced on his show that Deen and her team will volunteer their time to teach culinary skills at his annual mentoring camp. One hundred fatherless young men attend Harvey’s camp in Dallas every year during Father’s Day weekend. Deen’s culinary lessons will be added to the other skills and principles that the young men learn while at the camp.

“Paula and her team have agreed to take on as many boys as I want to fly down to Savannah and teach them culinary skills,” Harvey said on his show. “That, to me, is how you get something from something. There has to be a good behind everything.”

When asked by Harvey if she understands why people were so hurt by her comments, Deen responded, “I think I do, Steve. I think it boils down to people just expecting better from me.”

Watch the video below of Harvey’s thoughts on Deen, and share your comments about Deen working with Harvey’s mentoring program.


  • Steno Starr

    I don’t think the issue is about forgiveness more than it is about
    “mentoring our black males.” Of course everyone deserves a second
    chance; of course, we’re suppose to forgive. But the issue is having her
    “mentor our young black males.” People say they believe Paula is over
    her past and is not racist. Nobody would have thought Sterling was
    racist either until the cameras proved us wrong. There are THOUSANDS of
    other chefs who could mentor young black males. A better idea would be
    to have her mentor young white boys who want to grow up to be cops, and
    teach them how not to be racist and stereotypical so they won’t usurp
    their authority and shoot or kill black people for no reason whatsoever.

    • Pili

      Based on that comment you don’t truly believe people deserve a second chance, and sdounds like your speaking from a racist heart!

      • PROF

        I really don’t think that he is trying to be racist…I think it is a valid point. How is she suppose to relate to them? Steve said that he started the camp because there were so many young men of color without a father figure, so how is she suppose to provide more information than their own mothers? Menotoring uysually starts by a common goal…she has never and will never be a young black male. That is just like asking a black male professional to come mentor young white girls or young black girls on how to be successful in life.

      • pa leeze … young black men should stay far away from paula deen … and should be mentored by older black men

  • OhMy

    As long as we live , we learn. This is about healing, learning to live and grow together, as well as redemption. All will walk away with a renewed perspective on life’s options and respect for each other. I applaud Steve and wish Paula, her family and the young Black youths that she comes in contact with the best. #SomethingFromSomething

  • Harriet

    I’m encouraged. We all have faults, said and done stupid, insensitive, insulting, arrogant, mean things. If I ask for an apology and receive it, then it’s time to move on. Let your actions demonstrate whatever is in your heart.

    • PROF

      I think that it is more of a publicity thing. You don’t feel a certain way for 60 years
      and then and only when it affects your cash flow, become rehabilitated into the
      best advocate for equality and love for all! I’m not buying into this. I think
      she is sorry that she said those things, because she lost a lot behind it.
      Sorry is a word used too loosely, it simply means that I’m sorry I was caught,
      not that my heart has completely changed or even changed at all. She is using
      Steve Harvey as a platform to continue to rake in the bucks while patronizing a
      whole race of people. Yes I do believe in forgiving, that is the law of God,
      but forgiving is not for the other person, it is for me. I forgive a lot of
      people and yet it had no impact on their behavior! I’m sorry, but I (if I were
      one of the parents of these young men) would not send my child to be used as a
      pun or patronized as the poor little black boys that “Good ‘Ole Mrs.
      Deen” taught how to serve in her kitchens! And furthermore what school did
      she attend???? To teach culinary skills, do you not need to have formal
      training for that, otherwise it is just cooking…much like what my grandmother
      taught me to do. Trust me, she has stolen enough from the black race, knowing
      good and well that her grandmother, probably never cooked her own meals, she
      probably took every recipe that one of the servants left behind.

  • R Kap

    Most white and black people I know are racist in some form or other and have said things that would be viewed as racist against the other. It isn’t just white people. Paula Deen did nothing wrong. To ruin her career because someone heard her say the N word 30 years ago was wrong.

    • PROF

      Reading is fundamental…it was not 30 years ago, it was an ongoing behavior and use of words for the past 30 years at least. She said 30 years ago…

  • Loretta Gray

    Thank you Steve for being able to see the good in Paula and give her a second chance. The media and a lot of people turned on her so fast it was unbelievable. So yes I say b again thank you Steve.

    • Eric L. Smith

      I so agree

    • Eric L. Smith

      I so agree

    • Eric L. Smith

      I so agree

  • Caribe
    • Pia

      So….she’s mentoring young black men on how to identify a racist? I knew Steve would eventually turn his back on his own. He’s making the money to keep his trophy gold digging wife whose use to money. Black people wake up and smell the publicity stunk to keep this monkey in business to bring pissy dean back. And he called Tavis and West a Uncle Tom. My my my! Let’s boycott his shows and radio. I am!

  • 92gsr

    If I say something ignorant and rude, I don’t expect the people I offended to forgive me. I burned that bridge. Now I have a more difficult journey because of my actions. This is how we learn our lessons. The only lesson in this is don’t get caught and if you do money can fix anything. Maybe the title of his new book should be: Act Like a Success, Think Like a Greedy Bastard.

  • eG-Ma

    I’m really thinking: ‘The imagery!! – Paula Deen, a mentor and teacher to our young black male???’ Does her public redemption come riding on the backs of black male youth? Paula Deen had more than just the the racist thing going. The racial behaviors naturally rose to the top for obvious reasons. But alongside that were other questions of her character and integrity. She crafted fatty, sugary and unhealthy dishes for her tv audiences while she herself was diabetic and not eating the same food. Her fans also never knew she was taking money from a drug company that produced diabetes medicine. (for the diabetics who did use her cooking examples?). Paula Deen did not use erasable pens in her life; she used permanent markers, forever stamps, but the latest update on her public image overhaul says she has obtained a television network. Previously a report says Deen hired a young teenager, starting out, and promised her that she would get rich if Paula got rich. The article indicates that never came close to happening. Steve Harvey, we’ve grown to love you, live by your advice, watch your shows, laugh at your comedy, read your books, admire your stepping up to the plate and doing all that you do. But I don’t know why you recruited Paula Deen to mentor, teach, be a role model and to mother our young black men. Help me to understand as you do.

  • Blythe dhia

    So, there were no African-American or Coloured chefs who could mentor “young, Black males?” Really Steve? i’m all for forgiveness, but not for continuing to line the pockets of someone who obviously doesn’t give a damn about Black people. I’d bet if the tables were turned and it was Harvey who disrespected another race, culture, etc, he wouldn’t find redemption and forgiveness as quick and easy as he’s doling it out. Geez- wake up. I wouldn’t want or need my young, Black son or brother to be mentored by the likes Paula Deen. what’s next- self -defense classes from George Zimmerman?

    • yeah . they were trying to have him do a reality show where he’d surprise someone in candid camera style by being in their martial arts class

  • Pingback: Steve Harvey Teams Up With Paula Deen | AM 1310: The Light()

  • Mary Foster Stewart

    I think Steve Harvey is not just one of the funniest men in the business, but also the most compassionate men in the business. He’s the PERFECT example of what a “man” should be as well as, a “husband”, a “father”, and a “Christian”. How many of you sending out all your negativity on a decision he made, has done or said something that would hurt your friends or family if they knew? How many of you claiming to be such “good Christians”, are calling him names like “Uncle Tom” or saying “He’s serving his “white” handlers well”? Shame on ALL of you. You’re going to keep holding Paula Deen responsible for something she’s done and said in the past but you don’t hold your black brethren to the same ideals. Case and point, Kayne West. You don’t think what he says and does to the handicapped people in ALL his shows doesn’t HURT them? Handicapped people who paid money to go see his show the same as anybody else? I don’t ever seen anybody saying anything negative about that here on the internet, the NEWS, or in protests? Everybody thinks it’s F U N N Y. You think black people are the ONLY people in this country or around the world who can be hurt? Offended? Slighted? I respect Steve Harvey for the MAN he is. I don’t see him as black, colored, African-American, or anything but a GOOD, KIND, DECENT PERSON, which is a hell of a lot more then I can say for most of you. At least he isn’t pretending to be something he isn’t. Don’t bother to answer my post because I could care less what any of you hypocrites have to say. And I won’t be back to check.