Food Network Dumps Paula Deen After N-Word Admission

Posted at 4:46 PM, Jun 21, 2013

deen(Chicago Tribune) — Jun 21 ( – The Food Network is ending its relationship with Paula Deen after her admission in a deposition last month that she has used the N-word in the past, and that she once wanted to plan a “plantation”-style wedding for her brother.

“Food Network will not renew Paula Deen’s contract when it expires at the end of this month,” it said in a statement.

The decision came soon after Deen released a videotaped statement Friday in which she apologized “for the wrong that I’ve done.”

“I want to apologize to everybody for the wrong that I’ve done. I want to learn and grow from this. Inappropriate, hurtful language is totally, totally unacceptable,” Deen said in the video. “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. Please forgive me for the mistakes that I made.”

The decision not to renew her contract capped a tough day for Deen, which began with her canceling a “Today” interview in which she was to discuss the subject. Matt Lauer said her people cited “exhaustion” as the reason she was unavailable.

Deen, 66, and her brother are being sued by a former employee at their Savannah, Ga., restaurant who claims Deen’s brother subjected her to sexist, racist and violent behavior. She accused Deen of using the N word as recently as in 2007, while discussing an idea for a “plantation”-style wedding.

Deen denied using the word then, but conceded that she has used it in the past: Once to refer to a man who held her at gunpoint, and to recount conversations between African-Americans who used the word.

But she said in the deposition that times have changed and she no longer uses the word. Her representatives said in a statement Thursday that her use of it in the past was the result of growing up in the South 60 years ago. Deen followed that statement with her videotaped apology.

It wasn’t enough for The Food Network.