Food Network Drops Paula Deen After She Admits to Using Racial Epithet
In the media fallout after Paula Deen admitted in a lawsuit deposition to making racial slurs at her Savannah, Georgia-based restaurant in the past, the Food Network announced on June 21 it will not renew its contract with the celebrity chef.
In her May 17 legal deposition, Deen reportedly admitted to using the "N word" in the workplace.
Deen's show, which the network has aired for 11 years, expires at the end of June. The network said it "does not tolerate any form of discrimination," reported CNN.
The Food Network's announcement came the same day Deen backed out of an interview with "Today" on NBC, claiming she was "physically unable" to make an appearance in a self-produced YouTube video in which she also apologizes for her racist remarks.
"I want to apologize to everybody for the wrong that I've done," Deen said in the video. "I want to learn and grow from this. Inappropriate and hurtful language is totally, totally unacceptable. 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."
The day prior, on Thursday, Deen's restaurant company issued a statement explaining that the chef grew up in a "quite different time" in American history:
"She was born 60 years ago when America's South had schools that were segregated, different bathrooms, different restaurants and Americans rode in different parts of the bus. This is not today.
After the Food Network said it would stop airing Paula Deen's three shows at the end of June, Deen released the following statement:
"... I have had the pleasure of being allowed into so many homes across the country and meeting people who have shared with me the most touching and personal stories," she said. "... This would not have been possible without the Food Network. Thank you again. Love and best dishes to all of ya'll."