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Another sponsor ditches Paula Deen

Paula Deen

Paula Deen

NEW YORK — American celebrity chef Paula Deen, who was dropped by TV's Food Network after she admitted in a lawsuit that she used a racial slur in the past, will appear on NBC-TV's "Today" show on Wednesday after canceling a scheduled interview last week.

The program's anchor, Matt Lauer, said on Monday's show that Deen "told us she will be here this time."

Deen, who withdrew from an interview on June 21, tweeted, "See you Wednesday, I am so glad Matt, Al and my friends at @TodayShow are bringing me back."

The program did not say if Deen would address the controversy.

Deen, 66, apologized in videos posted online for using a racial slur, but Food Network later said it would not renew the Southern chef's contract when it expired at the end of June.

Pork producer Smithfield Foods Inc on Monday also dropped Deen, who had a name-brand line of hams with the company, saying in a statement that it "condemns the use of offensive and discriminatory language and behavior of any kind."

The controversy surrounding Deen began last week when a deposition taken as part of a lawsuit was released in which Deen, who is white, was asked if she had used the "N-word," and responded, "Yes, of course."

Deen, who has built a business empire based on high-calorie and fried Southern food with cookbooks, restaurants and kitchen supplies, made the comments in a deposition related to a racial and sexual discrimination lawsuit filed by a former employee.

The former employee of Paula Deen Enterprises, Lisa Jackson, is suing Deen and her brother, Earl "Bubba" Hiers, over allegations that while discussing plans for Hiers' 2007 wedding, Deen said she wanted a "true southern plantation-style wedding."

Jackson said that Deen used the slur in the discussion describing how she wanted an all-black wait staff for the party dressed in "long-sleeve white shirts, black shorts and black bow ties, you know in the Shirley Temple days, they used to tap dance around," she said, according to the lawsuit.

The Food Network is owned by Scripps Network Interactive Inc , while Chinese meat company Shuanghui International hopes to buy Smithfield, the world's largest pork producer and processor, for $4.7 billion in what would be the biggest takeover of a U.S. company by a Chinese firm.

That deal is expected to close in the second half of 2013.

Comments

MissDaisyCook 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Never had Ms. Deen's food or been in one of her restaurants. But after this ridiculous hoopla, I fully intend to make a special trip to visit one and enjoy her fine Southern cooking. Hang in there Ms. Paula.

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NewsReader 9 months, 3 weeks ago

You go MissDaisyCook! I too am tired of this foolishness.

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John5214 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Yes MissDaisyCook, I am with you, too. Tell me the date, and I will meet you there. If there was as much time and discussion spent on real issues like child hunger, homelessness and crime among others, this country would be much better off. But NOOOOOO, we get all bent out of shape over a slip of the tongue 30 years ago, and all hell breaks loose. Americans need to wake up and deal with what is really important. As I said in another post she should be given credit for telling the truth under oath. That is more than our former President from Arkansas did, and he makes mega bucks doing speeches etc. How do we justify that and crucify this lady?

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FordGalaxy 9 months, 3 weeks ago

"... in which Deen, who is white, was asked if she had used the "N-word,"..."


So if Paula Deen was black this whole episode would not have happened? Does it not strike anyone else as wrong that one group of people can use a word, but another group cannot? Especially now that the 'star witness' for the prosecution in the Zimmerman Trial has said that "creepy @$$ cracker" is not racist nor offensive.

Oh the joys of the double standard...

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NewsReader 9 months, 3 weeks ago

These same hypocrites (Walmart, Home Depot, Target, et al), if they didn't have double standards, they wouldn't have any standards at all.

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mrbigt 9 months, 2 weeks ago

If the food network dumped every employee that had ever used the "N" word in thier life time there wouldn't be a food network don't you think?? The privilged black class can chalk up another one against the "crackers"

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