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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scoopdedoop64
2328
Points
scoopdedoop64 06/22/13 - 07:21 pm
6
1
The Way It Is

This has so little to do with what is acceptable behavior and even race. it is all about picking someone to make an example of. Face it, do we ever believe that racism can be totally eliminated? No, if it wasn't color it would be the size of someone's nose. People will always look for differences and make a big deal about it. I love everybody regardless of race or color but that doesn't mean that they get a free pass if they are in the wrong. Black, educated people who have done good things with their lives are wonderful people to be around. the criminal element of black people and their culture of steal, sue and sit on your butt while the government takes care of you really is a menace to society. Say that publicly and you are labled a racist bigot and if you have a business then its like everybody wants to hurt you. I don't know what was in Deena's heart or what she really meant. She's apologized and she will probably not say anything like that again at least publicly but they will never let her forget it. It's the same thing with the Zimmerman case...they just wanted him pay for killing their son even though it was in self defense. The police knew it was self defense but after all the Rev. Sharpton type people cried out for his head on a platter then the police and district attorney felt they had to arrest him. If he is acquitted they will come after him with a civil suit. They will never let that man live in peace even though their son was a thug. And that my friends is just the way it is in the land of the free and the home of the brave.

corgimom
26221
Points
corgimom 06/22/13 - 07:25 pm
8
0
If Paula Deen had lied, that

If Paula Deen had lied, that woman would've had some proof that she said it. She did the right thing, she told the truth.

Maybe it's not in her character to violate an oath and commit perjury.

Just My Opinion
5203
Points
Just My Opinion 06/22/13 - 08:24 pm
3
2
To the black people on here

To the black people on here who claim that they tell other blacks NOT to use the n-word, I applaud you! I think that's great and that is exactly what should be happening if that word is really going to go away. I honestly think that the use of that word is going down simply because that entire mindset is on it's way out of this society. No, the mindset may never really go away, but the word could. If the black rappers and media people would stop using it, then it'd be gone sooner than later.

Blasphemy
90
Points
Blasphemy 06/22/13 - 10:21 pm
4
2
Are any of you people real?

Life is real. People are real. Do any of you seriously believe people are not real? Is there one of you who has not one prejudice? Is there one of you who has not cursed in thought or voice another human being? If there is just one, then we have a worthwhile discussion. If not, then why don't we just get on with our business and stop acting like spoiled brats. You know why we don't? No. Well, I'll tell you why. Because there is money to be made by being victimized! If you are a victim you can be lazy. You can be a criminal. You can make thousands of dollars sitting on your fat butt. You can have housing provided for you. You can have a cellphone provided for you. You can have your food bought for you. You can have a shopping cart full of non-diet soft drinks bought for you. You can make money having children you have no responsibility for after people stop telling you how cute they are in the shopping cart. In other words, why don't we all just agree on the all men created equal thing and move on?

Susie Q
57
Points
Susie Q 06/22/13 - 10:46 pm
4
2
Food Network & QVC

I'm done with Food Network & QVC. She's done as much or more with promoting Food Network & QVC with her cooking and yes southern personality that is second to none. Where are the ones that she helped get their shows/cooking & entertainment across the media. I know I'm only one person but this Southern gal is done with them all should they continue to throw her to the wolves.

walrus4ever
354
Points
walrus4ever 06/23/13 - 12:08 am
5
1
In reality, Paula Deen is a

In reality, Paula Deen is a victim of her own upbringing. When you imprint values, or the lack of, on your children you set them up to behave accordingly throughout life. As a white boy growing up in 50's Alabama, what we recognize today as racism, was frighteningly the normal. Assuming she was raised and educated in a southern state, maybe she should sue the school system where she was taught that segregation was the right way, that "colored only" was correct, and that she was superior . Thats what we we told. Told at school. Told across the dinner table and so on. The sad fact is that this imprinting goes on today . Between family, between friends and at the hands of prominent social celebrities. Most importantly, its not just a "white" thing.

myfather15
47717
Points
myfather15 06/23/13 - 07:19 am
2
0
Never like Paula Deen because

Never like Paula Deen because IMO I think she is fake and all about the money!! Yes, I've used some of her recipes and man, were they good!! But like someone said about her drawl, I believe she exaggerates it to seem more "southern". In my opinion, she is the perfect example of a rich woman with a huge ego and believes her family to be super special.

Having said that; this is ridiculous!! The people that fired her have probably used some form of racial or ethnic slur and demeaning term; as most people have. I've VERY suspicious of those who claim to have NEVER used any demeaning term about ANY race or religion of specific persons. Those that claim to be perfect, are usually the ones with the MOST skeletons in their closet. Clean out your own closet before trying to clean mine!!

roscoe74
43
Points
roscoe74 06/23/13 - 10:02 am
2
0
geez. is there any other news

geez. is there any other news that we can report? this is boring. White southern female celebrity admits using the n-word. and we're surprised? How about - children are dying from starvation and lack of health care EVERYDAY, EVERYWHERE.

itsanotherday1
39424
Points
itsanotherday1 06/23/13 - 11:03 am
7
0
Walrus

Dittos. My grandmother, reared in the sticks of Georgia, died in 1986 at the age of 84. She would use the word IN THE PRESENCE of black people. Embarrassed the heck out of me more than once.

Her brother had a right hand man to help him run his farm, and there was a true affection between my great uncle and Charlie, and Charlie's family. When there were meals served, Charlie and his wife would eat on the screen porch. In later years as times changed, they were invited to join everyone at the main table, but always declined.

Charlie's oldest son, Jimmy, was aware of the civil rights issues of the late 60's and got involved with that. He became an angry young man and eventually moved away.
There were younger brothers and sisters, and three of the boys approximated the ages of my cousins, my brother, and me. My uncle had nicknamed them Rat, Blackbottom, and Coon. They were just silly kids like us, and we whiled away many hours in the corncrib chasing mice to give the cats (until we grabbed a tail and pulled out a snake. Everybody hightailed it but me- I ain't skeered)

All this to illustrate that as wrong as we see it now, it was life as it was then. Though they were relegated to subservient status, they were still treated well and taken of when times were hard. On the flip side, when my uncle was sick with cancer, Charlie's family helped take care of him.

As unacceptable as those behaviors/attitudes would be today, they were replayed all over during the time Paula grew up. She has repeated time and again that abusive language is unacceptable, and she has changed with the times to embrace that.

As far as FN firing her, they certainly have that right. If they can live without Paula Deen and her supporters, she can certainly live without them. She should just start her own deal and say no more on the lawsuit.

seenitB4
79593
Points
seenitB4 06/23/13 - 11:08 am
2
0
Nice piece anotherday

Well said my friend....♥

jack2006
89
Points
jack2006 06/23/13 - 12:51 pm
2
2
You can forgive people for

You can forgive people for the time frame in history that they grew up in with the attitudes of that’s how things were then but there’s no forgiveness if they want to continue practicing that same hatred today because it is their arrogance in thinking that they can get away with it privately, publicly, or politically.

mrenee2003
2934
Points
mrenee2003 06/23/13 - 01:56 pm
3
3
Not about her past

Deen's racism is not about her past; it's about what she and her brother have done and said relatively recently. Southern plantation wedding anyone? Furthermore, African Americans using the "n" word among themselves is no different than Jeff Foxworthy making fun of rednecks. Anyone with an ounce of common sense knows the difference between Black people using the word with each other and other races using it to demean or belittle. It's intent. If you don't like hearing/seeing the word in various different art forms, don't listen to it or watch it. However, in a work or school environment, where people do not have a choice to opt out, it should never be said by anyone. Deen should have pushed to the wayside after it was revealed she was pushing her drugs onto the masses all the while keeping her diabetes diagnosis a secret.

whyme
1351
Points
whyme 06/23/13 - 02:20 pm
3
0
it all needs to stop

It has been explained to me on more than one occasion that it is ok for people of color to use the N-word because it is their right, and it's not being used in the same way as if a white person was using it. Not sure about that because I've heard two black people use the term against each other and it was not being used in a friendly manner (apparently using -er vs -a on the end of the word changes the context, I was told). I too have enough mixed race/multi-culture relatives, including myself, in my life that, while I may not fully understand the concept, I'm still human and can empathize. The bottom line is that, right or wrong, Paula Deen is being called out on something that happened last month, decided to put out now for us all to have a frenzy about, and who knows what all actually happened. While the first few bits of news presented the remarks made in her deposition, today's paper shows the statements made by her accuser seemed to contradict her own claim. When these sorts of incidents occur, I always hope that healthy discussions about race, culture, and religion will ensue as we work towards more understanding of each other and less need to "tolerate" or discriminate. Unfortunately, this rarely happens thanks to forums such as these.

Darby
23081
Points
Darby 06/23/13 - 03:33 pm
3
1
"White southern female celebrity admits

using the n-word. and we're surprised?"

.
You're surprised? I'm not surprised. She was referring to ancient history. Not something that happened yesterday.

If she had half a brain, she would have used the "Hillary" defense.... "I'm so sorry, I just can't recall."

Or the Bubba Clinton defense... "It depends on the meaning of the word and how you define it."

The problem with non-liberals is that they have never learned to master the art of deception and dishonesty.

Probably never will....

.
BTW: It's obvious from your post that you believe that no white, northern female has EVER stepped over that line in the sand, right??

No stereotyping going on here is there??

I've lived in the South, the North, the West and the Mid-west. Racism and bigotry exists to pretty much EXACTLY the same degree everywhere.

Different areas of the country are treated differently based on political/media bias and nothing else.

specsta
6046
Points
specsta 06/23/13 - 03:48 pm
4
4
Treated Well?

itsanotherday1 wrote - "All this to illustrate that as wrong as we see it now, it was life as it was then. Though they were relegated to subservient status, they were still treated well and taken of when times were hard."

Treated well? How can one be relegated to "subservient status" and still be treated well? Is it more of a "thank you, massa for not whipping me today? For not lynching me today? For letting me go to this piece of trash-pile school while you go to a school with desks, chairs and books?"

NO ONE can be treated as subservient and unequal and be treated well. This has to be the biggest dump of horse manure I've ever read on these opinion boards.

mrenee2003
2934
Points
mrenee2003 06/23/13 - 03:49 pm
2
2
It's not ancient history ...

did you bother to read the deposition? It's not simply about her use of the "n" word. She's a present day bigot. And you are joking about non-liberals not mastering the art of deception and dishonesty, right? The list is endless, Sanford, Bachmann, Bush lying to get us into a war that has killed thousands of American soldiers. They all lie; that's what we pay them to do.

myfather15
47717
Points
myfather15 06/23/13 - 04:50 pm
1
0
I tell you one thing though;

I tell you one thing though; I've never seen an article gets as many thumb responses as this one. I've never seen anyone getting 30's in the thumbs category. This old girl can get people stirred up I guess. WOW!!

Darby
23081
Points
Darby 06/23/13 - 05:08 pm
2
2
"The list is endless, Sanford, Bachmann,

Bush lying to get us into a war that has killed thousands of American soldiers."

.
We know about the Democrat lies, Tonkin Gulf, "I did not sleep with..." Etc, etc, etc...

Just tell us ONE lie Bush told. Just ONE! And you can forget about "Weapons of Mass Destruction". No lie there. He went with the collective recommendations of the intelligence community just as everyone else did. Just as FDR did before the invasion on D-Day, Just as Truman did when he ordered the use of the A-bomb. (Liberals are still second-guessing that one.)

The story that Bush lied about WMD's is itself a huge lie!

They told him (and our allies) that Saddam had them. He had to trust his intelligence sources and you know it! (Or maybe you would have ignored their analysis. Hindsight and all that.)

So, other than the phony liberal fabrication (That means lie.) that WMD's was a lie, just tell us one actual lie that Bush told. Just one.... Not a disagreement on details, an actual proven lie. He would have been impeached and you know it!

BTW: If your list is "endless" why drag in farm-team, non- entities such as Bachman and Sanford?

How many Republicans can you name who were convicted (or even indicted) who were subsequently elected to public office? I can't think of even one. On the other hand, I name several Democrats who proudly wear that mantle.

prov227
2896
Points
prov227 06/23/13 - 05:20 pm
2
0
Specsta ...

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.

As I recall, these folks were involved with mass adultery, illegal dog fighting, drunkeness, etc., not the past use of a nebulous word in the distance past. So is the use of free speech (that she admittedly evolved away from use) is in league with criminal behavior now?

Some of your comments leave me convinced that you have a strong bias towards the South and its history, in general, no exceptions. Let me suggest you do more research on the subject. Only 5% of white males owned slaves prior to the War of Northern Aggression, although many were dependent on the plantation economy for jobs. Most planters that owned slaves were poor businessmen (even better, fools) not to treat them well, provide housing, food and medical care. I'm not defending the ancient slaveholding system, just that there needs to be a context for viewing it. You need to view history in other than a 21st century mindset.

Travel into segregated black areas of many towns and cities around to gain an education of the net change that has occurred now that many are off the agricultural plantation and on the Government plantation. Read a little Walter Williams sometime.

Unrelatedly, the shooting of the infant by two teenagers occurred in Brunswick, Ga., not Beaufort, S.C.

Truth Matters
6013
Points
Truth Matters 06/23/13 - 05:49 pm
0
2
@Itsanotherday1.... I

@Itsanotherday1....
I appreciate your candor regarding the A-A who worked for your family. I think perhaps the point Specsta makes is that the best judge of whether those in a subservient role felt they were treated well are those individuals themselves, not the family that employed them. You must know that many Blacks would have grinned and said that all was fine while resenting the Hades out of those with the power. It is what it is.

Again, the point is well taken that many of that era played a role that allowed them to survive and co-exist the best they knew how. Words were said and accepted by many as just the way it was.

If Ms. Deen is speaking recently as described, she should know better. If it happened 40 yrs. ago, I would be disappointed but would recognize that as a product of her environment.

To know better is to do better.

Darby
23081
Points
Darby 06/23/13 - 09:11 pm
2
1
Anyway, what kicked off the

Anyway, what kicked off the previous tete a tete was my disgust for Democrats who constantly fall back on their current favorite lie, by declaring that "Bush lied, thousands died".

Every time you press them on the issue, they ALWAYS, WITHOUT FAIL, refer to the WMD issue. They know he didn't lie, but they also know that they will get no kickback from the media or from academic liberals, so it's a given that they will get away with it. It's like a mulligan in golf. A freebie, if you will.

They get to perpetuate a lie about a non-existent lie and know they won't get called on it.

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