Food Network won't renew Deen's contract

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 SAVANNAH, Ga. — Food Network said Friday that it’s dumping Paula Deen, barely an hour after the celebrity cook posted a videotaped apology online begging forgiveness from fans and critics troubled by her admission to having used racial slurs in the past.

Paula Deen  FILE/ASSOCIATED PRESS
FILE/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Paula Deen

The 66-year-old Savannah kitchen celebrity has been swamped in controversy since court documents filed this week revealed Deen told an attorney questioning her under oath last month that she has used the N-word. “Yes, of course,” Deen said, though she added, “It’s been a very long time.”

Food Network, which made Deen a star with Paula’s Home Cooking in 2002 and later Paula’s Home Cooking in 2008, weighed in with a terse statement Friday afternoon.

“Food Network will not renew Paula Deen’s contract when it expires at the end of this month,” the statement said. Network representatives declined further comment. A representative for Deen did not immediately return phone and e-mails seeking comment on the decision.

Deen abruptly canceled a scheduled interview on NBC’s Today show Friday morning. Instead, she opted for a direct appeal via online video – one that allowed her and her staff complete control of what she said and how she said it.

“Inappropriate, hurtful language is totally, totally unacceptable,” Deen said in the 45-second video posted on YouTube. “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.”

Her recorded apology featured three obvious edits – with the picture quickly fading out between splices – during a statement just five sentences long.

The video was soon scrapped and replaced with a second video of Deen talking unedited for nearly two minutes as she insists: "Your color of your skin, your religion, your sexual preference does not matter to me."

''I want people to understand that my family and I are not the kind of people that the press is wanting to say we are," Deen says in the later video. "The pain has been tremendous that I have caused to myself and to others."

Deen never mentions Food Network or its decision to drop her in either of her online videos.

Today host Matt Lauer told viewers that Deen’s representatives pulled the plug because she was exhausted after her flight to New York. Deen said in her video that she was "physically not able" to appear.

Court records show Deen sat down for a deposition May 17 in a discrimination lawsuit filed last year by a former employee who managed Uncle Bubba’s Seafood and Oyster House, a Savannah restaurant owned by Deen and her brother, Bubba Hiers. The ex-employee, Lisa Jackson, says she was sexually harassed and worked in a hostile environment rife with innuendo and racial slurs.

The transcript of Deen’s questioning by an attorney for Jackson shows she was peppered with questions about her racial attitudes. At one point she’s asked whether she thinks jokes using the N-word are “mean.” Deen says jokes often target minority groups and “I can’t, myself, determine what offends another person.”

Deen also acknowledges that she briefly considered hiring all black waiters for her brother’s 2007 wedding, an idea inspired by the staff at a restaurant she had visited with her husband. She insisted that she quickly dismissed the idea.

She also insisted in her legal deposition that she and her brother have no tolerance for bigotry.

“Bubba and I, neither one of us, care what the color of your skin is” or what gender a person is, Deen said. “It’s what’s in your heart and in your head that matters to us.”

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southern2
6624
Points
southern2 06/21/13 - 05:15 pm
42
7
OK...now nail every black

OK...now nail every black star, rapper, comedian who is also guilty of the same frivolous offense. The only thing she did wrong was admitting it. "I don't know" or " I can't remember" seems to be an acceptable response in Washington.

rmwhitley
5547
Points
rmwhitley 06/21/13 - 05:34 pm
0
0
I hate it for
Unpublished

Paula Deen but the food network is about as gutless as obama and the naacp, in my humble opinion!

Just My Opinion
5859
Points
Just My Opinion 06/21/13 - 05:37 pm
34
8
I don't know who gave

I don't know who gave southern2 a "thumbs-down" but I would bet $1000 that they have either said the n-word before or have used some other offensive and derogatory word toward another person. And it's NOT just because we live in the south...it's because we are human and we are, sadly, prone to occasionally thinking in disparaging ways of others. I've done it...my mother's done it...my father's done it...my daughter's done it...my co-workers have just about all done it....preachers have done it...and I would say all you readers have done it. Whites, blacks, Indians, Orientals, Hispanics...ALL have done it. I think it's ridiculous that political-correctness has gotten to the point where good people lose their jobs/careers over a stupid WORD. I also think something is terribly wrong when Blacks can use the n-word and NOTHING is done about it. There is a Black ESPN sportscaster...more of a commentator, really...that recently referred to a Black player as "acting like a n______", on the air, and NOTHING was done to him....he just denied saying it, faulting the clarity of the microphone!! So, he gets off, but this lady gets canned?? Yeah....THAT's why I don't respect the people who push for political-correctness.
Let's see if the hypocrite gives me a "thumbs-down"....I really don't care.

palmetto1008
9782
Points
palmetto1008 06/21/13 - 05:54 pm
9
36
I must live in a
Unpublished

I must live in a bubble...I've never heard my mother, my father, my daughter, my preacher, or any of my co-workers verbally degrade an entire category of people. Of course, I am not from around here and, apparently, travel in different circles than Ms. Deen and others who are so eager to defend her.

chascushman
6653
Points
chascushman 06/21/13 - 06:05 pm
28
8
A friend of mine was a
Unpublished

A friend of mine was a substitute teacher for a 9th grade math class a few year ago. He said one of the biggest problems was the black kids calling one another the n-word and using racial slurs against white kids but nothing was done. it is pretty obvious that there is a huge double standard.
Thank the gov't schools, liberals, democrats and many black leaders for the mess we have.

palmetto1008
9782
Points
palmetto1008 06/21/13 - 06:07 pm
1
15
After a thought, I'll take
Unpublished

After a thought, I'll take that back. My grandmother was fiercely anti-semitic, although I'm positive she never met a Jew in her life. But since she was so "not right" or eccentric in so many other ways as well, we all just laughed it off and let her go on her rants, even my grandfather.

Jake
32855
Points
Jake 06/21/13 - 06:13 pm
18
0
Indians & Orientals

Actually, JMO, those groups don't like those names either. Native American and Asian are supposed to be the accepted terms.
I don't care for Paula Deen. Even though I lived in the south for 30 yrs and appreciate the southern drawl, her's is over-bearing like she is on helium. What little I have seen of her show just does not inspire me to watch. The Food Network had an African American couple on a while back called the Neely's (I think) and I didn't like their show either.
Thankfully I have a job that does not require me to report to the broad masses of people via television. In my life I have insulted every race, religion and creed, including myself. I am an equal opportunity bigot, sexist, racist, pervert & hornswoggler with my tongue. However, I will help and assist any person in need and never intentionally harm anyone. Actions speak louder than meaningless words but, then again, I am not a celebrity. They make a lot of money off of the general public and are held to a different standard than us.

ragingbull
945
Points
ragingbull 06/21/13 - 06:27 pm
21
1
What is so bad about

What is so bad about admitting one has used the n-word. I used it in high school against a person of color who was picking on me, and I was the one who got in trouble because of it. I was given a stern talking to by the principal and guidance counselor, so I did not use the term anymore. Some of the dearest people that I have known and consider good friends are black. I would not use the n word when referring to them, but when I have been invited to events at their home, those of their own race have used the term freely when greeting each other. When we are all standing in line waiting for our passage through the pearly gates, there will only be one race of people in that line, and the is human, and that is what we are now. I do not judge or classify an individual based on his skin color. We all bleed red, and when cut we are all pink on the inside. Saying all that, I really do not understand why Paula Deen was targeted. It is time for everyone to get over this and move on.Believe me, Food Network will grovel on Paula Deen's doorstep before all is said and done.

southern2
6624
Points
southern2 06/21/13 - 06:32 pm
1
0
ragingbull
945
Points
ragingbull 06/21/13 - 06:29 pm
1
0
Yeah, I think it was

Yeah, I think it was something like South West,

specsta
6592
Points
specsta 06/21/13 - 06:42 pm
6
31
Jim Crow Is Dead

The problem is Paula Deen's admission that "Yes, of course" she used the n-word. As if using the n-word was no different than ordering fries at McDonald's, like it was the most natural thing in the world.

The Food Network should have kicked her to the curb. There is no place in the 21st century for that kind of ignorant mindset.

seenitB4
90674
Points
seenitB4 06/21/13 - 06:53 pm
18
1
Yes they will....the comments are coming in

.Believe me, Food Network will grovel on Paula Deen's doorstep before all is said and done.

What is unbelievable is the rap music with every slang--vile word possible...hey Jesse...why doncha ck that...the Food Network will be the BIGGEST LOSER....

seenitB4
90674
Points
seenitB4 06/21/13 - 06:56 pm
19
2
Sample of comments

The Food Network is getting due payback!!

Paula Deen fans outraged that the Food Network is firing her over her past use of racial slurs are venting on the network's Facebook page.

A sample of the comments:

"Shame on you for firing Paula Deen. If you are going to crucify everyone for a mistake they made in their past why don't we investigate the entire network?"

"I truly enjoy watching the Food Network, but will refrain from doing so any longer due to the non-renewal of Paula Deen's contract!"

"I'm starting a bonfire with your magazines, and cooking supper over it with my beautiful Paula Deen cookware."

"I will never watch the food network again if you cancel Paula Deen. She is the only real person cook you have on your network."

"How ridiculous to punish someone for something that happened so long ago. I will be boycotting your program from now on."

"So Food Network, I guess you won't be having any rappers on your network will you? Or are you hypocrites?"

Jake
32855
Points
Jake 06/21/13 - 07:19 pm
27
0
@specsta

I think she was just being honest when she said "Yes, of course". If she is 66 then she was born in 1947. There were many white folks then that used that derogatory word for African Americans because it was what they heard from a young age. People's attitudes can change over the years, as well they should if they are intelligent and paying attention.

palmetto1008
9782
Points
palmetto1008 06/21/13 - 07:34 pm
15
0
You make a good point, Jake @
Unpublished

You make a good point, Jake @ 7:19. Thanks.

chascushman
6653
Points
chascushman 06/21/13 - 07:46 pm
14
6
"The problem is Paula Deen's
Unpublished

"The problem is Paula Deen's admission that "Yes, of course" she used the n-word. As if using the n-word was no different than ordering fries at McDonald's, like it was the most natural thing in the world."
specta, how about all the black performers that use the racial slurs and some even call for violence against white people and police. Do you call for them being kick to the curb.

Riverman1
86855
Points
Riverman1 06/21/13 - 08:11 pm
14
2
Paula Deen was honest it

Paula Deen was honest it seems, yet was punished. Maybe it's best to simply lie about some things?

KSL
134305
Points
KSL 06/21/13 - 08:24 pm
4
2
I am half southern, half

I am half southern, half northern. I was born in the Northeast, but reared in the South, in close proximity to numerous members of all ages on the southern side of my family. I never heard anyone refer to someone with the word in question until forced desegregation. Then it was very rare. Growing up, we were not allowed to use the word, at all.

I cannot speak for other towns in the South, but I can tell you that in my town, I was not aware of bigotry.

KSL
134305
Points
KSL 06/21/13 - 08:33 pm
2
5
I guess the above is going to

I guess the above is going to be hard for bigots on the other side to believe. But it is true. My first friend, when I was two was a black girl who was 5. It was later I found out she was paid to play with (watch me). I cannot remember anything specific about her, but I surely would love to meet up with her again. Minnie Lee was my first friend.

Fiat_Lux
15902
Points
Fiat_Lux 06/21/13 - 10:04 pm
20
2
Specta,

I hope you have the opportunity to be judged, found wanting and punished severely and humiliated before the whole nation for the failings, intentional or unintentional, known or unknown to you, of your childhood and youth--failings that weren't actually failings but for a positive change in public opinion over the course of several decades.

Somehow, breaking the law (ie, "..but I never inhaled") ought to rate more severe castigation than does being a child and doing what everybody around you did, long before it was considered inappropriate or unacceptable--at least for white people to do it. Blacks, of course, today can say pretty much whatever they like about anybody, black or white, Jew or gentile, male or female, any time they like. Yep, it must be nice to be a member of the protected class who can just let 'er rip whenever and wherever if the desire strikes!

And having Specta as a defender is too marvelous for words.

Jake
32855
Points
Jake 06/21/13 - 08:42 pm
6
1
Hi KSL

Hope you and your husband are doing well.
This topic is actually how we met on-line before we met in person on another occasion.
I said it then and I will say it again. The town that you are talking about, did you go to school with African Americans and did they live in your neighborhood? If so then please name that town because knowing that you and I are not far apart in age I find it hard to believe that this town existed as you say. I am quite certain that segregation was the norm as it was for the rest of the south back then. Segregation equals bigotry to me.

Jake
32855
Points
Jake 06/21/13 - 08:54 pm
5
2
@Fiat

When you are a celebrity, i.e. a "known person", whatever you do is public fodder. Being a celebrity brings certain financial rewards but it also brings a scrutiny that specsta and others like us do not have to endure.
As far as African Americans being able to say whatever they want, we all can say whatever we want. I don't think the AA community is getting a pass. Every time Rev. Jackson or Sharpton say something they always get grilled on here.

seenitB4
90674
Points
seenitB4 06/21/13 - 09:13 pm
13
2
About J Jackson & Sharpton

Jake I'm going to tell you exactly why I feel the way I do about them....

If they really cared about the black generaton they would try their damnest to stop the KILLING in the black neighborhoods...but that won't make the news...that won't get tv time..
Anyway what worked years ago doesn't work any longer...when 85% of gov workers in Atlanta are black ...I would say the tipping point has been reached.
Goodnight & I'm going out & buying P Deen products in the am..

Pops
10413
Points
Pops 06/21/13 - 09:13 pm
10
0
She didn't stand

a chance once the mainstream media picked up on her deposition. White, older, successful Southern woman. Easy pickin's.

It only took the same group two days at the most to STOP covering Sean Penn's kid's little racist, homophobic rant at the Hollywood photographer.

burninater
9680
Points
burninater 06/21/13 - 09:19 pm
1
7
Uhh, Pops, what more was

Uhh, Pops, what more was there to cover? "Sean Penn's son shows himself to be a racist, homophobic dirtbag". Next.

Darby
26888
Points
Darby 06/21/13 - 09:25 pm
11
1
"I must live in a bubble...I've never heard my

mother, my father, my daughter, my preacher, or any of my co-workers verbally degrade an entire category of people."

.
I have more than once heard the term "cracker" used to degrade and condemn a class of people. I will admit it's getting less frequent now than it once was. And it wasn't that long ago, in Augusta Mall that I overheard a young woman of African heritage refer to a group of white girls as "damn white b*tches." Maybe she had good reason to be upset, don't really know. Still.....

Even when it is heard, it's not universally condemned. Guess it's that politically correct thing going on there.

And now another Pyhrric victory for the Orwellian mind and thought control crowd.

burninater
9680
Points
burninater 06/21/13 - 09:27 pm
1
12
"I hope you have the

"I hope you have the opportunity to be judged, found wanting and punished severely and humiliated ... for the failings, intentional or unintentional, known or unknown to you, of your childhood and youth ..."

Huh. Change "childhood and youth" to "original sin" and you've got yourself the eternal punishment promised by an entire body of Christian sects.

I guess we're just acting in God's image.

Pops
10413
Points
Pops 06/21/13 - 09:26 pm
5
0
Well now that you asked, I would

have liked to have seen the Today show....The View....Anderson Cooper et. al. schedule interviews with the kid and his media clown father to examine in depth the root of his homophobic, racist upbringing. We need to get to the bottom of that....

Darby
26888
Points
Darby 06/21/13 - 09:30 pm
4
0
"I guess we're just acting in God's image."

And you guessed wrong.....

nocnoc
44843
Points
nocnoc 06/21/13 - 09:44 pm
6
2
It is the food networks right

It is the food networks right not to renew any contract.
An it is Paula's right to move to a better show and channel with different sponsors.

But all boisterous yapping by various Black Reverends and talking heads with painted on indignation is the usual septic tank spiel.
Their goal is $$$$$, face time on TV, donations and political agenda steering.

If memory serves me correctly...

Wasn't there an article last week indicating Jesse's Raiders (aka Rev. Jackson PAC) was laying off staff and closing shop due to lack of $$$$$$. I guess this is what he hopes will be a golden apple for him and his bank account.

There is a lot more to the story than published here.
Look around and see the actors and the players involved it might enlighten the deeper reader.

Besides as long as the black community condones any use, such as Black calling Blacks the N-word or Black comedians making millions using. How can or should society take it?

Wouldn't it also be Racist to say only a Black person use the word?

NOTE: Before y'all start labeling me. Keep in mind my family is mixed race family including Blacks.

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