In an episode of the Steve Harvey Show set to air on Thursday, October 2, Paula Deen will speak with Harvey about what many might consider to be her surprising involvement with the Steve Harvey Mentoring Camp.
The annual four day event, held in Dallas during Father’s Day weekend, was founded by Harvey to teach hundreds of fatherless young men about “personal responsibility, dream building and the importance of nutrition and physical fitness,” according to the organization’s official website.
The 67 year-old Deen is slated to bring her famous Southern-style cuisine and talented team of chefs to Harvey’s mentoring program in an effort to help those boys who have an interest in the culinary arts. Harvey, in a recently released clip from the upcoming show, says that “Paula and her team has agreed to take as many boys as I want to fly down to Savannah [Georgia] … and teach them culinary skills. That, to me, is how you get something from something.” A one-time staple of the Food Network, a June 2013 controversy surrounding Deen’s admitted use of the “the N-word” in the past caused the channel to decline renewing her contract.
In addition to the mentoring announcement, the interview with Harvey addresses the 2013 controversy, with the host saying, “I just know the good in her. That’s all I know. And it outweighs the bad by a landslide.” Acknowledging that there could be a backlash from critics and the blogosphere for working with a woman some might still consider a racist, Harvey also said, “Now, when you blog about me … can you please type, right after you get through typing, that I don’t give a damn. Just for me.” Deen can be heard laughing as Harvey finishes, and the crowd applauds loudly.
The full interview with the culinary star will air on October 2, in what Steve Harvey’s official site calls a “no holds barred sitdown.”