Paula, who has since deleted the tweet, was dressed as “I Love Lucy” star Lucille Ball, while Bobby channeled Desi Arnaz.
“Lucyyyyyyy! You got a lot of esplainin’ to do!” read Deen’s tweet, along with the hashtag #TransformationTuesday.”
The backlash was almost immediate, as Twitter fans expressed their disgust over Paula’s ignorant stunt.
Ironically, Desi Arnaz, who was Cuban, had lighter skin than Bobby Deen does in real life, so it’s unclear why Bobby felt the need to darken his skin to portray Arnaz.
“Is anyone really surprised that Paula Deen and her son learned NOTHING? Brownface. SMDH,” wrote on Twitter fan. Another quipped, “No, guys, YOU have a lot of “esplainin'” to do.”
The photo was posted on July 7, but appeared to be from Paula’s 2011 Halloween special.
Paula Deen’s reputation and lucrative food empire went up in flames after she admitted in a June 2013 deposition to using the N-word years ago at her Georgia restaurant.
Deen also confessed she had once planned to throw a “Southern plantation-styled” wedding featuring African-American slaves. The revelations came after a former employee filed a racial discrimination lawsuit against Deen and her brother.
After the racism scandal, Paula lost her Food Network contract and all her endorsements. Deen was also heavily criticized after revealing in 2012 that she had been battling type 2 diabetes since 2008.
Paula was slammed for hiding her medical condition for almost four years while promoting her unhealthy recipes in her bestselling cookbooks and popular TV cooking shows.
Through her health and career ordeals, Deen relied on her therapist and her fans to get through the tough times.
“If it wasn’t for my fans’ love, I’d be home breathing into a paper bag,” said Paula, author of Paula Deen’s Southern Cooking Bible.
Deen launched a comeback in September 2014, but this brownface stunt has probably derailed that, at least for a while.