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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burninater
9597
Points
burninater 06/21/13 - 09:31 pm
3
4
Pops, you understand that

Pops, you understand that Deen's questioning was in a legal deposition, and not by the View, or Anderson Cooper, or anyone else in the media, right?

I know we need boogeymen, but at least get the facts straight about mainstream media's lack of involvement in this.

burninater
9597
Points
burninater 06/21/13 - 09:36 pm
4
6
"I guess we're just acting in

"I guess we're just acting in God's image."
And you guessed wrong.....
-----
Mmm, not really.

A theology that promises eternal damnation just for being born human? That's a funny crew to preach about being judgmental.

Pops
8545
Points
Pops 06/21/13 - 09:38 pm
6
0
"mainstream media's lack of involvement"

The Deen deposition has been a hot topic on all the the media outlets for two days.

burninater
9597
Points
burninater 06/21/13 - 09:42 pm
3
3
Ahh, I see your point now

Ahh, I see your point now Pops, and yes, that is absolutely true.

So, do you think that's a result of a double standard, or an inevitable consequence of the fact that almost EVERYBODY in this country knows who Paula Deen is, while most of us (like me) had never even HEARD of Sean Penn's son? Be honest.

Pops
8545
Points
Pops 06/21/13 - 09:43 pm
4
1
Key words "Sean Penn"

and yes...... all I'm saying is there is a double standard.......

burninater
9597
Points
burninater 06/21/13 - 09:51 pm
2
3
No, key words are "Hopper

No, key words are "Hopper Penn", as in "who cares?". Stupidity by the children of famous people rarely has media legs, unless the kids themselves are famous already. I know I won't convince you otherwise, but anybody that tried to say Hopper Penn is as big a story as Paula Deen would be laughed out of almost any mainstream media company in the world.

KSL
129885
Points
KSL 06/21/13 - 09:57 pm
3
2
OK, I read Jake's comment

And I skipped forward to answer now that I am checking back in.

Of course I cannot speak fot the entire population populationofa town 35 miles southwest of Atlanta. I can say that if bigotry existed, I was shielded from it. Nor did my husband grow up affected by bigotry that probably did exist in both towns, butnot in our, I will go ahead and say it, class.

I grew up in the basic house my grandfather built and provided for their cook. Omly it got added onto 4 times to accommodate our growing family. She moved away before we arrived.

Darby
25701
Points
Darby 06/21/13 - 09:58 pm
4
0
"A theology that promises eternal damnation

just for being born human? That's a funny crew to preach about being judgmental."

.
That belief you reject while attributing it to ALL persons of faith is not even accepted by huge numbers of those same people. I am a person of faith who, by no means, accepts the concept of "eternal damnation".

But it does make it easy for you to condemn without any real effort to understand doesn't it? Feeling lazy are we?

I was also amused by your indiscriminate use the term sect to tar all of Christianity, given that "sect" is generally used to describe groups that lie outside the religious mainstream.

If you believe that Christianity is outside then what religious group (or groups) do you see as mainstream?

Just curious. Don't feel obligated to answer.

Pops
8545
Points
Pops 06/21/13 - 10:00 pm
9
3
My real point is

BOTH stories amount to a pimple on a horse's rear end. There is a double standard as to what is OVERKILLED in the media.

Zimmerman case in Florida. Black man killed by non black man. Huge story.
Beaufort S.C. white baby shot in head by two "black youths" during robbery attempt. Teeny, tiny story.

KSL
129885
Points
KSL 06/21/13 - 10:01 pm
3
2
If their was racial bias, it

If their was racial bias, it was not spoken of. The bias I remember was against tbe small group of people known to be members of the derided KKK.

JRC2024
8879
Points
JRC2024 06/21/13 - 10:10 pm
7
1
Big deal. All races have said

Big deal. All races have said and thought things about other races or cultures.

Fiat_Lux
15429
Points
Fiat_Lux 06/21/13 - 10:13 pm
6
2
The trolls are out.

It must be the moon.

justthefacts
21944
Points
justthefacts 06/21/13 - 10:26 pm
5
0
No surprise

She was toast, no chance. Totally rediculous.

scoobynews
3854
Points
scoobynews 06/21/13 - 11:23 pm
11
0
Some people must live

Some people must live sheltered lives to have never been called or heard anyone called a racial slur. Heck I was called a n lover just because I had black friends yet I have never dated a black person. I have also been called cracker and white b. Paula admitted what many a black celebrity won't. If you think there are not prejudice black celebrities you better think again. Look at some of the skits from Chris Rock or some of the conversations on the Steve Harvey show. Get your heads out of the sand.

KSL
129885
Points
KSL 06/22/13 - 02:48 am
2
6
1965

I went off to the girls Ivy League the same year as Hillary. I was prepared for being harrassed harrassed for being from the south It never happened. Actually,thsi little ole girl from the south was helh in high esteem. I was so surprised.I thought those lib yankees and people from the left coast would dis me. They did not.

redapples
660
Points
redapples 06/21/13 - 11:21 pm
8
0
How many of us can say we

How many of us can say we have never said anything to offend another? The n-word is horrible and should not be used by ANYONE, but what does Paula Deen's situation teach us? LIE! What a shame...

specsta
6505
Points
specsta 06/21/13 - 11:35 pm
4
7
@ Fiat_Lux

Fiat_Lux wrote:
"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."

Those are some strong words towards someone you don't even know. I completely reject and dismiss your condemnation of a private individual such as myself for posting an opinion on this board.

Paula Deen is a public figure - thereby her life is under the scrutiny of the public eye. She made her millions from being a public figure - so when evidence surfaces of her engaging in racist and derogatory behavior, that is cause for alarm. The Food Network has a vested interest in protecting their brand and not be associated with such foolishness.

Tiger Woods is a public figure who suffered financial and personal loss for his misdeeds; so did Michael Vick, Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears, Michael Phelps, Chris Brown, Kate Moss - and the list goes on.

Why should Paula Deen, a public figure, be treated any differently? I think it's pretty indicative of one's mind concerning race when one thinks it's a good idea to host a party with all-black male waiters dressed like plantation slaves in the 19th century.

RoadKing
105
Points
RoadKing 06/21/13 - 11:49 pm
8
0
food network...

Why doesn't the food network do everyone a favor and remove itself . It's an unnecessary part of cable tv expense I can certainly do without !!

burninater
9597
Points
burninater 06/22/13 - 02:33 am
1
2
Huh?

Darby, you seem to have completely confused what I wrote.

"That belief you reject while attributing it to ALL persons of faith is not even accepted by huge numbers of those same people. I am a person of faith who, by no means, accepts the concept of "eternal damnation"."

Huh? I didn't attribute it to anybody but the people that believe it. If you don't believe that, then my comment has nothing to do with you.

"I was also amused by your indiscriminate use the term sect to tar all of Christianity, given that "sect" is generally used to describe groups that lie outside the religious mainstream."

Huh? The whole reason I said "some Christian sects" was to be completely clear that I WASN'T talking about all of Christianity, but the specific subgroups (SOME. SECTS.) that believe judgment leads to eternal damnation. Given, as you say, "that "sect" is generally used to describe groups that lie outside the religious mainstream," how does "some Christian sects" indict ALL of Christianity? It LITERALLY does the exact opposite.

Young Fred
17467
Points
Young Fred 06/22/13 - 03:09 am
9
1
Specsta I believe you speak

Specsta

I believe you speak with forked tongue, intentional or unintentional I'm not sure.

Many a “public figure, under the scrutiny of the public eye, making millions from being a public figure” has slighted/slandered tea party folks, Christians, the Jewish, the rich, old white males, conservatives, southern folk, country singers, NASCAR fans, right to work folks, pro traditional marriage folks, anti illegal immigration folks, pro second amendment folks, anti statist gov't folks, anti chicken little the sky is falling folks, etc.

Sure, people on this site may rake them over the coals for being so ridiculously shallow, but that's a far cry from the main stream media making a cause celebre over their remarks.

Just be man/women enough to admit that Dean unfairly got the shaft.

Dixieman
14965
Points
Dixieman 06/22/13 - 06:54 am
13
0
Well...

...I did an awful lot of dumb stuff when I was young, too. The times and the vocabulary were quite different then. I have conquered or outgrown many of them (I still ain't perfect, that's for sure) and society has changed. So what happened to forgiveness, recognizing that youthful indiscretions are inevitable, judging people by their current adult behavior, etc.? This is political correctness run amok and is lunacy. I give the lady credit for honesty and the Food Network an F for integrity or lack thereof.

Riverman1
84088
Points
Riverman1 06/22/13 - 07:48 am
8
0
To use a cooking term...what

To use a cooking term...what a crock.

Susie Q
57
Points
Susie Q 06/22/13 - 08:02 am
6
0
Paula Deen

I've watched Food Network for the last time, folks need to get a grip with themselves. Who hasn't used some kind of language before? She has gone through a lot to get where she's at and for that I admire her. She's put the South on the map where others have degraded the South. She's helped others to get up the ladder. Where are these at now? Probably snubbing her.

LocalGirl
317
Points
LocalGirl 06/22/13 - 08:56 am
7
0
I Support Paula

Good bye, Food Network. I won't support a network that would fire some one for a mistake she made long ago.

seenitB4
87304
Points
seenitB4 06/22/13 - 08:58 am
3
1
Susie Q

They are supporting her....if you read the FN posts you would see how disgusted they are with that Food Network..

It ain't over yet!

Augusta resident
1368
Points
Augusta resident 06/22/13 - 10:11 am
0
2
rappers

Rappers don't say the n word. It doesn't end with an A. And why did she even answer a stupid question like that? It's still a free country right?

WAG
287
Points
WAG 06/22/13 - 10:13 am
2
9
She should have been let go!

She should have been let go! This is about the mistreatmen of an employee and I hope she wins big. Celebreties think they can say and do what they want. No matter who it hurts. As for that matter as do bosses and supervisors. But finally we do have some recourse. Although it takes alot to bring them down. When rappers say the N word they are not saying it like she meant it. And she was gonna hire all black waiters for wedding. What does that tell ya.Sounds like a racist to me!

Guntoter 2
88
Points
Guntoter 2 06/22/13 - 10:13 am
0
0
@Jake
Unpublished

Very well stated sir.

Guntoter 2
88
Points
Guntoter 2 06/22/13 - 10:18 am
0
0
AIN'T NO WAY
Unpublished

Heey I love the Food Network and this incident ain't gonna stop me from watching..NOT MEEEEE!

seenitB4
87304
Points
seenitB4 06/22/13 - 10:52 am
8
1
This comment on FN made my day!

Rosalind Williams

Well, now that I have cancelled my magazine and blocked you off my cable..I am a 57 year old black woman, who thinks that we should just look at the person..I have met her and her sons..Wonderful people... you think I haven't said the word cracker, redneck, and some other horrid things when I didn't think anyone was listening..Get over yourself!!!Please stop listening to yourselves and think. You will lose customers because you can't back your own people...you dropped the ball too fast. Paula Deen is Food Network..no Paula Deen ..no Food Network. Who told you to do this...Fire them

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