Pop Culture

KLG and Hoda debate: Double standard for Deen and other celebrities with scandals?

Alec Baldwin used a gay slur to describe a reporter. Jennifer Lopez performed for a dictator.

NBC NewsWire / Today
Paula Deen appeared on the TODAY show to address all the controversy surrounding her.

As the controversy surrounding Paula Deen continued to unfurl over the last week, other celebrities had high-profile scandals of their own to stamp down recently.

But Kathie Lee and Hoda wanted to know why they were given passes when Deen continues to get vilified?

On Monday, Hoda recapped the hot water J.Lo got into over the weekend for not only performing in Turkmenistan, a nation with one of the worst human rights records in Asia, but for also singing “Happy Birthday” to its dictator president. Lopez later apologized, saying she wasn’t aware about Turkmenistan’s human rights issues.

Richard Drew / Today
Actor Alec Baldwin arrives for the funeral service of James Gandolfini, star of "The Sopranos."

Just days earlier, Alec Baldwin made news for a heated rant over Twitter directed at a British reporter who mistakenly accused Baldwin’s wife of sending out inappropriate tweets during James Gandolfini’s funeral.

“Why can Alec Baldwin make a gay slur and still have a Capital One commercial?” Hoda said.

KLG agreed.

“Where’s the justice in all this? There should be one standard for everybody. And why is it that certain people are like Teflon and nothing sticks,” she said.

The ladies noted that Martha Stewart recovered after going to jail for insider training. Singer Chris Brown rebounded after admitting to assaulting on-again-off-again girlfriend, Rihanna. And then there’s Charlie Sheen, whose offensive outbursts barely even register anymore.

Yet, KLG and Hoda wondered why Deen’s sponsors hurriedly cut their ties to the Southern cooking queen, particularly when her fans appear to be rushing just as fast to support her.

“Bill Maher came to Paula Deen’s defense. So did Howard Stern. These people say these outrageous things for a living and nobody seems to hiccup,” Kathie Lee said. “We’re just trying to get behind the psychology. Why is this sort of unforgivable as opposed to everything else?”

Hoda suggested the element of surprise may have something to do with it.

“Some people you see as bad boys – you sort of see Alec Baldwin as always doing that stuff. You see Charlie Sheen sheen as always doing that stuff," she said. "So when they do it again, you go, ‘Oh God, there they go again.'"