Paula Deen Supporters Take to Facebook; Deen to Appear on 'TODAY' Wednesday
Last week, Paula Deen was officially cut from Food Network after releasing two apology videos following the circulation of a transcript where Deen admits she used the 'N' word and made racist jokes.
Since then, however, plenty has happened; Deen has issued two statements regarding her release from Food Network, telling TODAY, "I would like to thank the Food Network for 11 great years. Because of the gift the Food Network gave me, 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."
People magazine received a similarly worded statement from Deen Saturday, where she added, "This would not have been possible without the Food Network. Thank you again. Love and best dishes to all of ya'll."
Furthermore, the world will be hearing more from Deen as she returns to the TODAY show on Wednesday for an exclusive interview, making up her absence last week.
In the meantime, the public's response to Deen's comments and her subsequent firing seems to be mixed. Plenty of supporters have gone online, with the "We Support Paula Deen" Facebook page gaining some 290,000 followers. "Anyone who grew up in the '50s and '60s at one time or another used the very word Paula is being crushed for. It was the world we lived in then — right, wrong, or indifferent — it was just the way it was. We have now grown up and as a county we continue to work on equal treatment for everyone," one commenter wrote.
Other Paula Deen supporters have headed to the Food Network Facebook page to express similar sentiments, while others have applauded Food Network for their decision. "I'm not perfect, hardly. But I have never and will never use a racial slur. Oh, and people who use them 'once' usually have a habit of using them. She has no place on the Food Network. Any credible company would have responded in the same manner," one commenter wrote.
Finally, Deen's own former PR representative Nancy Assuncao went on a media tour this weekend to discuss the move, and while she told Anderson Cooper that she found Deen's response "cringe-worthy," it seemed like she was trying to defend Deen, just a little. "I know this woman's heart; I may not have always agreed with how she ran her business or the direction it may have taken, clearly there were mistakes made..." Assuncao says before getting cut off by Cooper.
"I don't think she was presented in the best light, and it's sad all around," Assuncao goes on to say.