The decline of Paula Deen, and her brand, continues.
Last week, after a deposition in which she admitted using the "N" word was made public, the Savannah, Ga.-based cook, who’s spend years building a brand as a queen of Southern cooking with endorsement deals with a host of products and TV shows, was dropped by just about every major company that she worked with. Things just keep getting worse for her, even after issuing a tearful apology, as it’s now being reported that not only has Walmart vowed to stop carrying Deen-branded products, Caesars Entertainment plans to "rebrand" the four restaurants that bear her name.
Deen stood up Matt Lauer’s much-hyped TODAY show appearance, and was dropped by Food Network, who she worked with for the past 11 years. On Monday, Smithfield Foods, the ham producer, cancelled her spokeswoman contract as well. When Food Network announced that her time slot would be filled by a show featuring Giada De Laurentiis, her fans flew into a rage, and now that her sons, who also have shows on Food Network, are coming to her defense, some are urging the network to cut ties with them as well.
Deen finally appeared on the TODAY show on Wednesday, but that did little to ebb the flow: later that day Walmart announced that it "would not place any new orders beyond what’s already committed" for its line of products that are endorsed by her and branded with her name, according to the Associated Press, and TMZ is reporting that Caesars Entertainment, which owns Deen-branded buffet restaurants in Harrah's Tunica near Memphis, Tenn., Harrah's Joliet near Chicago, Harrah's Cherokee in North Carolina, and a buffet at Horseshoe Southern Indiana, has decided to "rebrand" those restaurants and has closed them down for a couple months.
Additionally, the AP is reporting that Target, which carried Deen-branded cookware, and pharmacautical company Novo Nordisk, which produced the diabetes drug that Deen was famously hired to sponsor, have ended their relationships with her, as has The Home Depot, NBC News reported. Additionally, on Thursday QVC announced that they would be "taking a pause" from their relationship with Deen. "Paula won’t be appearing on any upcoming broadcasts and we will phase out her product assortment on our online sales channels over the next few months," President and CEO Mike George said in a letter posted on their website, adding that it isn't a "forever" decision.