Paula Deen out at Food Network
(CNN) — Celebrity chef Paula Deen’s contract with the Food Network will not be renewed, the network said Friday, the latest fallout over revelations this week that she admitted to using a racial epithet in the past.
Deen’s contract with the network, which airs three shows featuring the chef, expires at the end of the month, it said.
The Food Network’s announcement followed reports that Deen acknowledged in a lawsuit deposition to using the “N word.” Earlier in the week, the network said it would monitor the situation, but that it “does not tolerate any form of discrimination.”
In a statement, Deen thanked the network for 11 “great years.”
“… I have had the pleasure of being allowed into so many homes across the country and meeting people who have shared with me the most touching and personal stories,” she said. “… This would not have been possible without The Food Network. Thank you again. Love and best dishes to all of ya’ll.”
It was a stunning turn of developments for the chef whose Southern, folksy flare with food made her a household name, spawning a line of kitchenware, cookware and food.
It also came at the end of a head-spinning day of developments that began when Deen backed out of an interview with “Today” on NBC. She later apologized and begged for forgiveness in a video on YouTube that she pulled and replaced with a self-produced video where she again apologized.
“I want to apologize to everybody for the wrong that I’ve done,” Deen said in the first video statement. “I want to learn and grow from this. Inappropriate and hurtful language is totally, totally unacceptable. I’ve made plenty of mistakes along the way but I beg you, my children, my team, my fans, my partners, I beg for your forgiveness.”
A short time later, Deen replaced the professionally edited video with one she made herself.
In that video, she apologized for backing out of the interview, saying she was “physically not able” to do it at the time.
“I’m taking this opportunity now that I’ve pulled myself together and am able to speak to offer an apology to those that I have hurt,” she said.
“… My family and I are not the kind of people the press are wanting to say we are,” she said. “…Your color, your religion, your sexual preference does not matter to me. But it’s what’s in the heart, and my family and I try to live by that.”
Deen’s public relations manager said after Deen recorded the first statement, she said it was not what she wanted to say.
“She picked up her own handi-cam and recorded it herself without a production team present,” according to Juda Engelmayer, senior vice president of 5W Public Relations.
Deen and her brother are being sued for alleged sexual and racial harassment by a former manager of Deen’s restaurants in Savannah, Georgia.
Lisa T. Jackson’s lawsuit alleges that Deen and Bubba Hier committed numerous acts of violence, discrimination and racism that resulted in the end of her five-year employment at Deen’s Lady & Sons and Uncle Bubba’s Oyster House eateries in Savannah.