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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noxiousfumes
417
Points
noxiousfumes 06/22/13 - 11:26 am
0
0
Wait just a minute

Initially, when I heard the name of the person bringing the lawsuit, Lisa Jackson, I assumed that she was African-American. She isn't; she is Caucasian. I looked at the lawsuit and the use of the N word is minor compared to the other actions outlined in this suit. This 33 page document talks about the sexual harassment with pornography, sex jokes, etc. on a daily basis; she discusses the lack of compensation for her duties as a general manager and that she was paid less for running several entities than male managers were paid to run a department; the racial discrimination shown toward black employees who were never allowed to use the front entrance, only the back; they were only allowed to use one bathroom in the back, where white employees had access to all restrooms; calling employees monkeys, and other derogatory terms including the n word; abusive behavior and violence, etc. It was sickening to read about the working conditions of those employees and that Paula Deen not only knew about it, but condoned it. I find that far more insulting than a simple instance of the n word. I understand that she runs a family business, but somebody needs to tell her that it's 2013, and as much as she wants us to go back to the "land of cotton, old times there are not forgotten" and we do have employment laws that have to be followed.

You can find the lawsuit on atlawblog.com.

Just My Opinion
5267
Points
Just My Opinion 06/22/13 - 11:30 am
3
0
Augusta resident? You really

Augusta resident? You really meant to say that rappers don't use the n-word as we think of it, because the n-word that they use DOES end with an "a"...as in '[filtered word]", right? With that, you would be mostly correct....I say mostly because I'm sure there are some rappers who do use the n-word as we would think it's spelled. I get on Twitter and see MANY young people, white and black, who use the word "[filtered word]" or "niggah". I have to admit that it's pretty shocking how easily they throw that around. My daughter, who is in high school, says that they use that version because they deem it unoffensive. Really?? They also use it almost as a term of endearment...such as between close friends or family members. And she does say that whites do say it to blacks and it's not taken offensively. Strange, isn't it? As a general rule, I've told my daughter not to use any variation of that word, but I'm not naïve enough to think that she hasn't. She has many black friends, and she has a couple of "mixed" friends who also easily throw both versions around.
Before you even think to blast me about this, seek out a young person and ask them.

noxiousfumes
417
Points
noxiousfumes 06/22/13 - 11:33 am
5
2
Wait just a minute

Initially, when I heard the name of the person bringing the lawsuit, Lisa Jackson, I assumed that she was African-American. She isn't; she is Caucasian. I looked at the lawsuit and the use of the N word is minor compared to the other actions outlined in this suit. This 33 page document talks about the sexual harassment with pornography, sex jokes, etc. on a daily basis; she discusses the lack of compensation for her duties as a general manager and that she was paid less for running several entities than male managers were paid to run a department; the racial discrimination shown toward black employees who were never allowed to use the front entrance, only the back; they were only allowed to use one bathroom in the back, where white employees had access to all restrooms; calling employees monkeys, and other derogatory terms including the n word; abusive behavior and violence, etc. It was sickening to read about the working conditions of those employees and that Paula Deen not only knew about it, but condoned it. I find that far more insulting than a simple instance of the n word. I understand that she runs a family business, but somebody needs to tell her that it's 2013, and as much as she wants us to go back to the "land of cotton, old times there are not forgotten" we do have employment laws that have to be followed.

Real talk
11
Points
Real talk 06/22/13 - 11:41 am
2
9
She deserve to be drop from

She deserve to be drop from Food Network. Stop protecting people when they are wrong, and stop trying to make every sitituion the same.Only address what she did.

noxiousfumes
417
Points
noxiousfumes 06/22/13 - 11:44 am
9
1
Regarding the use

of the n word. . . I am black and I refuse to use the word. I'm old enough to remember when that word was used offensively during the '60s and it always left a bad taste in my mouth. Growing up in a military family, my parents taught us to never judge a person by their ethnicity, but by their actions. We were not allowed to throw around racial epithets, and I never heard my parents use them. I have black friends who throw around the n word on occasion and I tell them not to ever use that word in my presence.

As for rappers, young people who don't know any better, their use of the word is pure ignorance. I don't care that their thought is that using the word takes away the pain and the stigma; it is a word that needs to be eliminated from our vocabulary. It is offensive no matter who uses the word. That includes all the other racial epithets that people toss around. Though we come from different cultures and backgrounds, there is only one race; the human race.

justthefacts
20365
Points
justthefacts 06/22/13 - 11:44 am
6
1
noxiousfumes

And I heard an African American on CNN yesterday denying all that. Perhaps we should wait a bit before we hang her, no?

griff6035
3904
Points
griff6035 06/22/13 - 11:45 am
3
0
Paula Deen

The first mistake she made was agreeing to an interview with Matt Lauer. I do not watch Food Network but I think they will be the big loser in this. What happened to Dr Kings quote The Truth will set you free.

seenitB4
81343
Points
seenitB4 06/22/13 - 11:48 am
4
0
Lawsuits

Have all kind of statements...some true --some not...I also heard that the accusations came from someone in a lot of debt & in the need of MONEY....just like the fireman in Augusta...I think we will find out much more before this is over....even about Lisa (filed lawsuit)

seenitB4
81343
Points
seenitB4 06/22/13 - 11:50 am
5
1
cracker

I just don't like that word...let us eliminate it....throw out whitey while you're at it.

Darby
23589
Points
Darby 06/22/13 - 11:55 am
4
0
Burn - If I stepped on your toes, then

let me apologize.

Maybe it's my perception but you do seem to me to have a real "hate-on" with regard to anyone who professes a religious belief on these pages.

I'm about a thousand light years removed from what might be considered a Biblical Scholar and so I'm not about to debate chapter and verse, but I don't believe that the New Testament is as vindictive as some of the folks you read on these pages.

Still, I'm of a mind to just skip over their rantings and feel no compulsion to rebut them.

Fiat_Lux
14845
Points
Fiat_Lux 06/22/13 - 12:05 pm
6
3
The point that is being completely ignored here

is that the problem stems from Paula Deen's brother and HIS treatment of an employee at HIS restaurant. Deen got sucked into this because she is the one with the deep pockets. Lisa Jackson's lawyers absolutely were going to go after that money.

If Jackson's goal also was to bring Deen down, she may or may not have succeeded, but she certainly has attracted the outrage and anger of hundreds of thousands who love her target as well as those of us who are sick to death of the evi, the injustice and total hypocrisy of the PC libtards.

Good luck getting a job after this, Lisa.

seenitB4
81343
Points
seenitB4 06/22/13 - 12:28 pm
6
1
Excellent post Fiat

I heard on tv today that Paula should make amends by giving "millions" to the naacp..hah...I hope & pray that if she gives ANYTHING that she gives it to local folks in need in Savannah Ga..the last thing I want to see is the naacp or Jesse Jackson get a thin dime...

I think this has waken the masses....we are so sick of pc crap that this is our wake up call.....funny that a lady from Savannah Ga could rouse this much attention BUT I say GO PAULA...get your own network too.

Fiat_Lux
14845
Points
Fiat_Lux 06/22/13 - 12:32 pm
3
1
Darby (11:55)

One word: troll

Young Fred
15724
Points
Young Fred 06/22/13 - 12:49 pm
4
2
Paula Dean

I think it crap, you can not tell me that everyone some time or other has not said something that they shouldn't have. Will not be watching Food Net Work any more. Everyone has to be so politically correct... Makes me sick.

From: Young Fred's wife Wilma

triscuit
2855
Points
triscuit 06/22/13 - 01:10 pm
3
1
Paula Deen is a multi-

Paula Deen is a multi- millionaire and does not NEED the Food Network. There is Cooking Channel and I am sure many others if she feels the need to stay on TV. She could do like Oprah and start her own stupid network. As to the wedding she was going to put on with all black waiters...98% of the people that work for caterers here in Augusta are black.

corgimom
27816
Points
corgimom 06/22/13 - 01:49 pm
6
0
Everybody has the right to

Everybody has the right to free speech in this country- unless you are a host of a show on the Food Network.

Wonder what would happen if they got the CEO of that network and put him under oath and asked him the same question?

corgimom
27816
Points
corgimom 06/22/13 - 01:51 pm
3
0
"As for rappers, young people

"As for rappers, young people who don't know any better, their use of the word is pure ignorance."

No, it's all about MONEY. It makes them "edgy" and helps them sell their songs.

You learn before you are five years old that you don't call people bad names.

Bizkit
29190
Points
Bizkit 06/22/13 - 01:53 pm
3
0
So make a movie like Django

So make a movie like Django and it's OK but "others" will be charged with a "hate" crime. It isn't the word but who says the word. Hey isn't that discrimination. Oh how the wheels turn.

internationallyunknown
3932
Points
internationallyunknown 06/22/13 - 03:03 pm
2
3
The Firing

its not solely about what she said about black people.

internationallyunknown
3932
Points
internationallyunknown 06/22/13 - 03:06 pm
1
3
...Hmmm...

A Civil War brewing???

Seriously though...

bigj706
993
Points
bigj706 06/22/13 - 03:21 pm
1
1
The whole thing is not what

The whole thing is not what she said in the past but what the employee said she heard and seen. The past thing just show that she had said it before. No one is judging her I don't think for her past but what happen to the employee. The Food Network is just covering their backs once this dies down they will probably hire her back.

bigj706
993
Points
bigj706 06/22/13 - 03:29 pm
2
0
Noxiousfumes I agree with

Noxiousfumes I agree with you. No one should say it no matter what color. I like wise if I'm around other blacks who use it tell them to reframe from using it around me. I don't like the word no matter who uses it I try to recruit other blacks to help me spread the word that it is not cool to use that word.

seenitB4
81343
Points
seenitB4 06/22/13 - 03:32 pm
3
1
Heh

THey will want her back BUT I hope they don't get her back & she goes with another network.....

Civil war...doubt that..but a well needed wake up call.

crossyourarms
211
Points
crossyourarms 06/22/13 - 04:20 pm
4
0
I don't believe anyone who

I don't believe anyone who says they haven't heard others use a racial epithet.

Jake
31681
Points
Jake 06/22/13 - 05:15 pm
2
0
Food Network

Other than "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives", there is not much on there that I like. The shows that were good in the past have all been cancelled. Emeril, Anthony Bourdain, Bobby Flay's "Just Grillin'", the original "Iron Chef" and, my favorite, miss cleavage herself, "Giada at Home". I would love to be in her kitchen and lick her spoons.

dashiel
176
Points
dashiel 06/22/13 - 05:51 pm
3
0
Paula is an excellent cook & entrepreneur

Like the jeweler who promises not to change your oil, I just can't see what this has to do with getting the food on the table. I love Paula and couldn't care less what a bunch of sulled-up whiners "think." This is a case of a disloyal employee cashing in on an opportunity. Look up opportunist in the dictionary (if you have one; google it if you don't).

Darby
23589
Points
Darby 06/22/13 - 06:22 pm
5
0
"Wonder what would happen if they got the

CEO of that network and put him under oath and asked him the same question?"

.
He/she would do what Paula Deen SHOULD have done. Lie!

Obama's done it, Chuck Shumer's done it, Eric Holder has done it, Nixon did it, Newt's done it, Bill "Bubba" Clinnton did it, and on and on and on.....

Lie that is, not necessarily under oath. At the moment, of those listed above only Clinton and Holder have lied under oath; to the best of my recollection.

Get any 100 average black people in a room, put them all under oath and ask if they have EVER spoken of white people in a disparaging, racial manner. Nearly all will lie and say no.

It's in our collective DNA. Doesn't make them racists or bigots. Just points out that most people of all stripes are flawed human beings.

It's time we move on.

wildman
988
Points
wildman 06/22/13 - 06:50 pm
1
0
Forgiveness

We can be forgiven or many things but I guess this is not one of them. I have forgiven her because it is not my place to judge her in the first place.

Since The Food Network can not seem to find it in their heart to let by gones be by gones I will make sure that channel is not on my tv. Good By Food Network!

GypsyWomaan13
20
Points
GypsyWomaan13 06/22/13 - 07:18 pm
2
0
being honest got her no where.

If a person lives in the USA, they will hear the N word. I look at it this way, once I was ignorant, and now I am not as ignorant. God Bless Paula and her family during this time. I know God will bring you through these times.

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