Paula Deen made an appearance on the TODAY show Wednesday morning to speak with host Matt Lauer about the controversy surrounding accusations of racism, which resulted in her recent professional downfall.
Deen, who backed out of a scheduled interview on the TODAY show last Friday due to exhaustion, spoke with Lauer to insist that she is not a racist, nor does not have racist tendencies. She spoke firmly about the way she had been raised and about the way she raised her children, and said that she had always been told never to think of herself as better than anyone else.
When Lauer asked if she ever wished that she had "fudged" the truth when asked in court if she had ever used the "N" word, Deen immediately answered "No," and claimed she was only prejudiced against two kinds of people: "thieves and liars."
Lauer was not gentle in his questioning of her, but Deen stressed her good character and maintained her disgust for the racial slur. "It’s very distressing to go into my kitchens and hear what these young people are calling each other," she said. "I think for this problem to be worked on, these young people are [going to] have to take control and start showing respect for each other and not throwing that word at each other. It makes my skin crawl."
Later Wednesday morning, NBC affiliate WAVE3 News reported that Caesars Entertainment Corporations would end its relationship with Deen. Caesars, which runs four Paula Deen-themed buffet-style restaurants said it "intends to rebrand the current Paula Deen themed restaurants in the coming months."