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Scoop: Paula Deen axes staffer over “brownface” tweet

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Paula Deen is seen at an event at the Todd English Food Hall in New York. A spokesman for Deen says she didn’t post a 2011 Halloween costume photo on her Twitter account showing her son Bobby in dark makeup as “I Love Lucy” character Ricky Ricardo. (Andy Kropa/Invision/AP)

‘Lucyyyyyyy! You got a lot of esplainin’ to do!”

Does she ever.

Paula Deen’s Twitter account tweeted that quote Tuesday along with a 2011 picture of Deen and her son Bobby dressed as Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. Paula’s sporting a red wig and retro dress, and Bobby’s portrayal of the Cuban-American actor consists of a face full of brown makeup.

The response was swift for the Southern-fried TV personality, who was booted from her obscenely successful Food Network shows in 2013 over racist slurs. Some called the “I Love Lucy” spoof ignorant, some called Bobby’s makeup “brownface,” and one commented that Deen’s PR staff was “literally 3 sticks of butter in a trenchcoat.”

The goddess of grits ’n’ lard, 68, has axed her social-media manager. “Paula immediately had this picture taken down as soon as she saw the post and apologizes to all who were offended,” Deen’s spokesman told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

The social-media manager’s name was not divulged, although Deen’s investors would probably love to know it. According to the AP, Deen has raised somewhere between $75 million and $100 million in her campaign to restore her greasy media empire.

TRUMP DIGS UP PAGEANT HOSTS

Donald Trump must have searched every dinner theater, public-access show and infomercial set in the country, because the presidential candidate has found two hosts for his embattled Miss USA pageant: Todd Newton and Alex Wehrley.

Trump was forced to scrounge up his Z-list stars after a June faux pas — he likened Mexican immigrants to drug-dealers and rapists — resulted in all hosts, music acts and TV partners dropping the pageant.

Newton, whom most viewers couldn’t pick out of a lineup, hosted “Family Game Night” and “Whammy! The All-New Press Your Luck.” Wehrley, Miss Wisconsin 2009, is best known for being Miss Wisconsin 2009. The pageant airs Sunday on Reelz.

QUICK TAKES

Anchor Ross Palombo has been tapped to co-host “Mornings on 2” on KTVU (Ch. 2). … Demi Lovato made a surprise appearance at Temple Nightclub in San Francisco on Sunday to promote her song “Cool for the Summer,” even though it’s always cool here in the summer. … “Independence Day” star Jeff Goldblum welcomed a son over the weekend on … Independence Day.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY

Singer Beck is 45. … Actor Kevin Bacon (“The Following”) is 57. … Actress Anjelica Huston (“The Witches”) is 64. … Singer Raffi is 67. … Actor Jeffrey Tambor (“Transparent”)  is 71.

Got scoops or Bay Area celebrity gossip? Email scoop@sfexaminer.com.

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