Food Network Drops Paula Deen; Deen Releases Video Apology
Following a crazy week of Paula Deen controversy, launched by the publishing of her deposition transcript, Deen's public relations camp has definitely been working hard to save the food star.
Yesterday, Paula Deen Enterprises released a statement to PEOPLE saying, "During a deposition where she swore to tell the truth, Ms. Deen recounted having used a racial epithet in the past, speaking largely about a time in American history which was quite different than today. 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."
The statement also restates that, "To be clear Ms. Deen does not find acceptable the use of this term under any circumstance by anyone nor condone any form of racism or discrimination."
Food Network, Deen's biggest backer, has already distanced itself from the controversy, releasing a statement saying, "Food Network does not tolerate any form of discrimination and is a strong proponent of diversity and inclusion. We will continue to monitor the situation." Further bad press came this morning when Deen cancelled on the TODAY show, citing "exhaustion" as an excuse. And today on Twitter, Deen announced she will be releasing a video statement soon.
Of course, that hasn't stopped the Twitter teasing. Now trending on Twitter? "#PaulaDeenApologyBingo," with Tweeters guessing a multitude of excuses and statements Deen could make. Watch the video statement below, where she says, "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."
Update: Paula Deen has released a second video to explain why she did not appear on the TODAY show and speak about her statements. "I want people to understand that my family and I are not the kind of people that the press is wanting to say we are... the color of your skin, your religion, your sexual preference does not matter to me. It's what's in the heart, and my family and I try to live by that," she says, further asking forgiveness.
Update: Food Network has dropped Paula Deen as of Friday afternoon, Reuters reports. "Food Network will not renew Paula Deen's contract when it expires at the end of this month," the statement read.