UPDATE: Publisher Drops Paula Deen After J.C. Penney, Sears, Kmart And Walgreens Join Exodus

UPDATE, 1:40 PM: It doesn’t seem to matter that Paula Deen’s New Testament: 250 Favorite Recipes, All Lightened Up is Amazon’s best-selling book ahead of its scheduled publication in October. Random House’s Ballantine Books says today that it’s cancelling its plans for the cookbook, Publishers Weekly reports. Deen jumped to Ballantine from Simon & Schuster last year.

PREVIOUS, 11:40: Now J.C. Penney is leaving the Paula Deen business, the Dallas Morning News reports. The paper says that the chain sells Deen-branded cookware and carries a broader array of her merchandise in hundreds of its smaller stores.

PREVIOUS, 8:15 AM: Sears Holdings, which owns Sears and Kmart, says that it will “phase out” all of its Paula Deen merchandise and “will continue to evaluate the situation.” Walgreens also says that it’s phasing out Deen-branded goods which include mixes, seasonings and butter.

PREVIOUS, THURSDAY PM: QVC CEO Mike George says in a blog post that “for now” Paula Deen “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.” The site offers a Deen-branded line of cookware. The shopping channel chief adds that “People deserve second chances. And we always strive to do the right thing.” Following his note, Deen writes one of her own expressing appreciation for “the caring way that QVC has interacted with me over the past week.” She also says that she has “some important things to work on right now, both personally and professionally” and agreed that “it’s best for me to step back from QVC and focus on setting things right.” Deen says that she is “truly sorry and assure you I will work hard to earn your forgiveness.”

PREVIOUS, THURSDAY AM: Target says it will “phase out” the Paula Deen cookware and merchandise in its stores and online. Meanwhile, pharmaceutical manufacturer Novo Nordisk, which had teamed with the celebrity chef to promote Victoza — a drug for diabetics — says that it and Deen “have mutually agreed to suspend our patient education activities for now, while she takes time to focus her attention where it is needed.” The company had initially said that it would stand by Deen.

PREVIOUS, WEDNESDAY PM: Walmart now has dropped out, potentially costing Paula Deen revenues from a product line that includes eyeglasses, cookware, and baked goods. The retail giant says that it is “ending our relationship with Paula Deen Enterprises and we will not place new orders beyond those already committed.” Meanwhile the celebrity chef has received statements of support from Epicurean Butter, IQ Craft, Club Marketing Services, Harvest NA, Landies Candies, and Sandridge Food, Bloomberg BusinessWeek reports. The statement from Tasty Blend Foods praised Deen’s “commitment and how she stepped up and apologized to her viewers, fans and the nation. We personally endorse Paula Deen and what she stands for. We are very saddened that she is being judged by her past, everyone has made a mistake sometime in their lives.”

Related: Paula Deen On ‘Today’ Tearfully Begs Sponsors Not To Dump Her

PREVIOUS, 12:10 PM: Add Caesars Entertainment to the list of companies that have severed ties to Paula Deen Inc. The company says today that it “has reached a mutual agreement with Paula Deen Enterprises” not to renew their deal to operate four Paula Deen-themed buffets. Caesars says it will rebrand the existing ones at Louisville’s Horseshoe Southern Indiana, Memphis’ Harrah’s Tunica, Chicago’s Harrah’s Joliet, and North Carolina’s Harrah’s Cherokee. “While we appreciate Paula’s sincere apologies for statements she made in her past that she recently disclosed during a deposition given in response to a lawsuit, after thoughtful consideration of their impact, we have mutually decided that it is in the best interests of both parties to part ways at this time,” says EVP Communications and Government Affairs Jan Jones Blackhurst.

Related: ‘Today’ Gives Paula Deen Failing Grades After Interview

PREVIOUS, MONDAY PM: QVC now says that it is “reviewing our business relationship” with Paula Deen and has “no immediate plans to have her appear” on the shopping network. QVC adds that it “does not tolerate discriminatory behavior.” It increasingly looks that, if the celebrity chef wants to save her multimillion-dollar licensing and endorsement empire, she needs to do it on NBC’s Today show this Wednesday. Deen generated about $9.9M in 2010 from speaking engagements, licensing agreements, TV, magazines, books and other deals, according to estimates. But Paula Deen Inc could collapse after the Food Network’s decision last week to not renew her contract when it expires this month. Smithfield Foods, the world’s biggest pork producer, terminated its contrac with Deen today. Meanwhile, Universal Furniture, which offers the Paula Deen Home furniture line, told its dealers today that it will see how things play out before it decides what to do.

Deen generated an estimated $3M in 2010 from licensing deals with partners including Kaleen Rugs, Serta mattresses, and Walmart. Her empire has grown since then and now includes branded chicken from Springer Mountain Farms and prescription eyeglasses with Walmart. License deals typically give companies an out if the celebrity endorser does something that might injure the brand. Meanwhile, speaking engagements accounted for $5.5M in Deen’s 2010 revenues; she reportedly makes as much as $100,000 for an appearance.Deen already has apologized twice publicly in videos for her use of racial slurs including the N-word which came to light in a legal deposition filed last week on federal court. Having the word “racism” as part of the national conversation puts Deen’s case “on a different plane” compared to other celebrity endorsers touched by scandal, according to International Licensing Merchandisers’ Association SVP Martin Brochstein. “There’s a reason why a lot of licensors prefer to deal with animated characters.”

Comments (139)

  • “she’d better provide a convincingly sincere apology”

    What sanctimonious twaddle.

    Comment by Guest — Monday June 24, 2013 @ 5:15pm EDT  
    • I don’t get it. Why does anyone care if this super-wealthy come down to earth. She’s got enough money to say to all, “screw you”, but GREED makes her cry. You’re taking food out of her mouth. Boo Hoo. Like we care. Just like Tiger Wood & the rest of those who lost sponsorships that are back, she’ll be back. America has a short memory – very short.

      Comment by USA — Friday June 28, 2013 @ 6:16pm EDT  
      • Paula is 66 years old and I am afraid that a comeback could take years. I am just shocked at the corporate world and their actions. You would think that Paula was a mass murderer. I really do not get the knee jerk reactions. It was a long time ago and she said she was sorry—what more do you want..blood? I have a vision in my head of lemmings jumping off a cliff. I could name the lemmings but I will not bore you

        Comment by Patti — Saturday June 29, 2013 @ 3:59pm EDT  
    • Good riddance! I couldn’t tell you how often I’ve encountered narcissistic personalities who will resort to racism and racial eptithats at the drop of a hat, as part of a strategy to shock and silence you over anything, the pettiest disagreements.

      Comment by Harry — Tuesday July 2, 2013 @ 10:36pm EDT  
  • The vilification of Paul Deen is ridiculous. People need to get over it.

    Comment by Lisa — Monday June 24, 2013 @ 5:18pm EDT  
    • People really do need to get over it Lisa. She didn’t say this word recently, and Deen (not condoning, just factual) grew up in time and place where the word was thrown around like it meant nothing. She told the truth in a deposition that ‘at one time’ she said it. It’s not like she’s going around spouting off constantly.

      Now PERSONALLY, I believe that Food Network was looking for a reason to let Deen go due to her diabetes, and the fact that the nation is getting fatter, and more diabetic, the appeal of her cooking (and her in general) probably was depleting.

      Not for nothing, but the food network is pretty white, most of the minority hosts they had seem to have vanished (and most of the quality programming as well)

      Comment by John — Monday June 24, 2013 @ 5:39pm EDT  
      • I agree with you. What happened to the Neeleys , Sunny Anderson ,and others. I enjoyed these and they are gone.

        Comment by Anonymous — Monday June 24, 2013 @ 7:05pm EDT  
        • I used to watch the Food Network, but stopped about a year ago…it would be great if they were really concerned with not being discriminatory their would be more diversity on the network.

          I am an African American and like Paula Deen and feel it’s good that she had the decency to admit what sooooo many others probably still freely utter behind closed doors…if not in words–by their actions. Perhaps this will caution others that inevitably your past will always haunt you. In regards to her ordeal, my conclusion is simple….”He or she that is without wrong–may you cast the first stone….!!!

          Comment by Effie Rolfe — Wednesday June 26, 2013 @ 4:07pm EDT  
          • You must be a Godly woman and it’s so refreshing to hear such kind and considerate words of wisdom. I have always believed and recited to others, including myself; about the “Power in Our Words” but I also believe in the Power of Forgiving and not to forget that the greatest Gift one can give is Love. In my opinion; all the companies that have stopped supporting Paula Deen is more about maintaining their own corporate revenue. We will find after all is said and done, all these companies that are so “quick to judge” will only revival their true colors and it doesn’t paint a pretty picture wither be in black or white.

            Comment by Carmen — Thursday July 25, 2013 @ 12:26am EDT  
        • The sad part is the cynicism of it all. I bet executives at the Food network and others have known about this for a while and didn’t care to reprimand Deen an any way until the PR storm hit. I understand if she’s being fired because of the moral angle but the truth is that none of these companies give a rat’s ass about that. It’s all about being perceived as condoning a supposed racist as opposed to knowing about it and doing nothing about it if it had been known before the law suit.

          And yes the food network is as white as it gets. where are the Asian (Did they ever have an Asian personality on FN? Besides Arti?)or Black hosts? Instead we get 7 hours a day of Guy Fieri and show after show after show after show of restaurants gone bad and how we can save them.

          As for the argument of growing up in the South, that may fly with people from the South but to us who grew up other places, it’s just racism. I am not saying she should be vilified now for something that happened a couple of decades ago but excusing that behavior in the first place because the person doing it is from the south is an argument that doesn’t hold water. I’m sure she knows what that word means and how it was used when it was used and using it is never OK. And I am one of those people who feel a bad word is a bad word. It shouldn’t be used by any body, not to subjugate or to empower and take ownership. But that seems a never ending debate.

          Comment by amc73 — Wednesday June 26, 2013 @ 5:34pm EDT  
      • Great comment!! I agree

        Comment by Anonymous — Tuesday June 25, 2013 @ 2:11am EDT  
      • The Food Network has been looking for an out for a couple of years with Deen. Her (and her brother’s) problems go far beyond old racial comments. The main part of the case being brought by the former employee is sexual harassment. Deen has had some questionable financial dealings in the past few years. The diabetes announcement last year, and the fact that she knew about it for three years, really bunched the Food Network’s shorts. This is an easy way to dump her without angering her Food Network fans.

        Comment by Bob — Tuesday June 25, 2013 @ 2:33pm EDT  
        • The reason why these companies drop her and there’s a lawsuit is because people are cheap and want money and the companies want for her recipes and just don’t want to give her credit for her own work in it. Ever heard of the saying don’t give your recipes away. See it’s true. She is not just a spokeswoman but a part investor and the recipe maker so people try to banish her as soon as possible so that they can just take the money and run. Take her name off it now and keep producing the product. Typical. That is American Greed and how the greedy work. Of course there’s a lawsuit because the so called racially slandered person sees a good cut in her verbage. But to drop her really? That’s just a jump at the chance to be cheap and they’ll grab it.

          Comment by Chris — Friday June 28, 2013 @ 10:14am EDT  
        • Not only the diabetes situation…and her cooking will give anyone ahereing to it the same illness by the way. Can you say liability?
          Smithfield hams was another mess up turned to cash for Deen by FN if you’ll check. WIth the harrassments, this latest and actually an obnoxious low level intelligence..did you see the red neck trip to Paris? How embarrassing for anyone with any degree of class!
          I agree. She’s not the only one to lose their job at FN. It was just way too much at this point for it all to keep being covered up or ignored. Bravo to FN!

          Comment by Mandy — Wednesday July 10, 2013 @ 9:17am EDT  
      • Really?…get over it? Really? Are YOU Black? Are you made to come in a different door than the white employees at Paula Deen’s restaurant? If you agree with her, you are no better than she is and a bigot at that. I wonder if the black employees get the same pay as the white employees? H-m-m-m-m maybe that should be investigated. When Paula Deen answered if she has used the N word…she replied “yes, of course”…really? Does she think everyone uses that or just her little click of friends who sit down on the porch drinking lemonade making fun of the black folks who work for her and make her rich. “Get over it”…wow..
        shows us you are just as much the bigot as she is!!!! True colors are really shown. And for all those people who line up at her restaurant to eat….well take a picture of them daily and put them in the Daily News and call them bigots as well….because they all apparently support her beliefs!!!! How embarrassing for
        America that this still goes on today. Paula Deen and all you white folks who support her…shame on you!!

        Comment by Anonymous — Tuesday June 25, 2013 @ 4:11pm EDT  
        • I am black, and I have to say the fact she said that in her past neither surprises me, nor offends me. First of all it was in her past. She hardly strikes me as a racist evil black hater. Second, we’ve all said things we regret including racist comments or jokes. Even if behind closed doors with our friends or family. EVEN if you are black. I know members of my family have told “white” jokes, or made fun of white people from time to time. When I was young I even laughed. I would be lying if I never said something negative about a white person my whole life. I don’t go around saying racial slurs, I DO have respect for others. I would not treat anyone of another race with disrect because of their race. But lets be real EVERYONE!!! It’s time to get over it and quit acting like it’s the most horrible thing they’ve ever heard anyone do. I forgive you Paula.

          Comment by Pam — Tuesday June 25, 2013 @ 10:00pm EDT  
          • Good on you Pam!

            Comment by Anonymous — Thursday June 27, 2013 @ 12:28pm EDT  
          • Paula Deen drops the N-bomb years ago. Career gets dynamited. Alec Baldwin, however who drop racist slurs CONSTANTLY including calling a reporter a queen YESTERDAY and those Capital One commercials will continue to run ad nauseum. But perhaps Alec is on the right– I mean left side politically so we’ll just ignore his widdle slip-ups, right?
            Riiiiiight.

            Comment by taxPAYER — Friday June 28, 2013 @ 11:25am EDT  
          • Pam, bless your heart, this is probably the most honest comment I’ve read. Thank you, I’m a 72 year old lady, and trust me,I’ve said things some people might not approve of even my family, but that’s is my right,but I don’t believe Paula is racist.This was something she said 27 years ago, she has my support.

            Comment by Marietta — Friday June 28, 2013 @ 10:02pm EDT  
          • Thank you Pam. We have all said things that we have later regretted.

            Comment by Debbie — Sunday June 30, 2013 @ 3:20pm EDT  
          • Well stated Pam. I have grown up in the South and in a time in which I have seen and heard things that makes me cringe to think about from black and whites alike. I have seen the good and the bad in both. Though I have grown up in a region that tended to make a difference in people based on the color of their skin I have never really felt that way myself. To quote someone I feel knew what they were talking about I do believe that a person should be judged by the content of their character and not by the color of their skin. It is indeed a persons actions that make them good or bad and it is so sad at what is lost if all we ever see is skin color. So many friendships and view points lost due to ignorance. Hatered does indeed breed hatered. It is sad that so many choose and have chosen that route in life. As far a mistakes go who can say they have never said or done something they regret? Can a person change? Well that truly depends on the person. Would I accept Paula Deen’s statement that she said that decades ago and she is not a racist today? Yes I would if her actions proved that and also because I believe people can change. Would I support her if she still feels the same today? No I would not. Does Paula Deen feel the same today as she did decades ago? That I do not know and can not say but the problem here is that in the business world appearance is everything and this is bad for business regardless. The bottom line to the business world is returns and profits and anything that might damage the ability to make money will irrespectively get tossed by the way side. I will have to say one thing in this. In this subject I can only stand and scratch my head as I wonder at how the Black rap industry gets by with its offenses and has businesses lined up to endorse and promote it.

            Comment by J.D. — Sunday July 14, 2013 @ 1:50pm EDT  
        • hummm us white folk…are you real? I feel that was a racist comment in itself..just because I am white and was clumped in with all the other white folks…by the way have you not read some of the comments from all the black folk supporting her..or are you going to call them “uncle toms” you cast a stone in your email…but I forgive you too..

          Comment by Anonymous — Thursday June 27, 2013 @ 10:18am EDT  
        • Have you ever used the word “whitey?” Just wondering..and no, btw, I’ve never used the “n” word, nor am I racist, but I am classified that way constantly by certain black people who like to stereotype whites. Judgment and prejudice is a 2-way street and it’s certainly not limited to color. Oh, and Walmart calling the kettle “black,” really? Pathetic.

          Comment by Michele — Friday August 9, 2013 @ 1:20pm EDT  
      • If they were looking for a way out doesn’t the Food Network just not renew the contract?

        Comment by Leo Cantrow — Tuesday June 25, 2013 @ 6:35pm EDT  
        • She has a VERY loyal fan base. Regardless of what anyone thinks of her now, she was one of their top stars (and ratings grabber). So networks tread very lightly when contemplating dumping someone. Although they didn’t have that concern when they dumped Emeril or Mario. Go figure.

          Comment by Bob — Thursday June 27, 2013 @ 12:57pm EDT  
      • I agree with the fact that Food Network was looking for a way out. I have thought that for awhile. It seems that each time I go on Food Network to look for a certain episode under Paula Deen, it will take me to various other chefs. Her fans know her character. These accusations are ridiculous and quiet frankly, I believe Deen is a scape goat. African Americans call each other the N word.

        Comment by Gina — Tuesday June 25, 2013 @ 9:39pm EDT  
        • so What, Paula Deen’s isn’t black. That’s like saying, white people call each other Honky’s and Rednecks! You wouldn’t like it if black people walked around calling white people those names

          Comment by Linda — Wednesday June 26, 2013 @ 1:00am EDT  
        • Agreed, get over it, everyone makes mistakes in which they regret, I am not pushing religion but we are to forgive! I have black friends and yes they use the “N” word often! As for myself, I am not a big fan of Paula’s but do watch her show once in a while. There are way too many important issues that the media needs to address! I watched Paula this am and believe that she does her best to be a good and honest individual so please let’s move on!

          Comment by Ann — Wednesday June 26, 2013 @ 8:27am EDT  
          • AMEN TO THAT! LET’S MOVE ON. I AM BLACK AND LOVE HER SHOWS. I JUST TURNED 60 AND WAS RAISED UP IN HER ERA. SO I KNOW PREJUDICE WHEN I SEE IT/HEAR IT. AND I DON’T SEE IT WHEN I LOOK AT HER. ALSO OUT OF ALL THE SHOWS ON ‘THAT’ NETWORK, I’VE SEEN MORE BLACK GUEST APPEAR ON HER’S THAN ANY OF THE OTHERS THAT’S STILL ON. AND THIS WAS 30 YRS AGO! I’M SO GLAD I’M NOT JUDGED BY MY PAST. BECAUSE I’M NOT THAT SAME PERSON I WAS WAY BACK THEN.

            Comment by KAY — Friday June 28, 2013 @ 1:54am EDT  
      • I think I agree with that.

        Comment by babz — Thursday June 27, 2013 @ 3:05pm EDT  
    • Too much backlash still pending from the diabetes debacle and the poor management by her camp. This is happening too quickly. No one’s in the mood to continue to forgive her public persona because they feel swindled by her. I think that’s the issue more than her current problems.

      Comment by Tv Food and Drink — Monday June 24, 2013 @ 5:50pm EDT  
      • Since when is it a crime to keep your medical history to yourself? I thought I recall laws that are supposed to protect our medical history from being used against us? Whoops, oh – forgot, it was Paula’s crime according to you not to reveal her medical problems huh? Think before you speak please and know what in heck you are talking about. She was NOT obliged to divulge she had diabetes to you or to anyone else regardless.

        Comment by P,Jay — Thursday June 27, 2013 @ 6:38am EDT  
    • nonsense. Paula Deen typifies everything that is wrong in this country including her ongoing mistreatment of her Employees. What is clear Lisa is that you and others of your ilk need to get over it. Funny how those who stick up for Paula’s many ill behaviors are also fond of repeatedly putting down “Hollywood” -and unions (remember the whole “At Will” employment the Rethugs were pushing?)
      as well as treatment of their sadistic treatment of women 24/7/365.

      Comment by Mary — Monday June 24, 2013 @ 5:51pm EDT  
    • no, you should “get over it”
      Discrimination on any level is not to be tolerated let alone endorsed. The Food Network and any business that is ethical should not be supporting any business that treats it’s employees like second class citizens. It is not right for employees to have to endure racial slurs and pornographic material in the workplace. Obviously ,the employees were afraid of losing their jobs. Paula Deen is a Southern cook who hit a stroke of luck by getting picked up by the Food Network. They gave her fame and she should have passed on that opportunity by making sure that all of her and her co-partners in business supported the people that supported them. Making uncomfortable statements, jokes and exposing them to unfair treatment was and is disghusting, low class and unacceptable.

      Comment by June Pagan — Monday June 24, 2013 @ 6:26pm EDT  
      • NIce post if only the Food Network was actually doing that for the right reasons. Sadly they are making a skapegoat out of Paula Deen rather than fire some MALE chefs and food network stars who have een sexually co workers and contestants on food shows for years. Easier to fire the old lady who said the N word a long time ago. Hypocrites.

        Comment by realitygurl — Monday June 24, 2013 @ 7:17pm EDT  
        • once those stories get endlessly splashed across news services they’ll go too. Paula Deen should have had smarter people in her camp to navigate through this crap, instead of family members.

          Comment by Anonymous — Monday June 24, 2013 @ 7:55pm EDT  
    • This is a public tar and feathering by mostly vested interests.. Remember all the names of the companies that turn so quickly…because, if it is politically convenient and profitable…they will turn on you on a dime, too.

      We are all just people. We all do stupid things. Where is the humanity here? Please, turn your attention to Aaron Hernandez, and have a real story to feed the public frenzy.

      Incredibly, in Paula’s case, the public has clearly demonstrated its repulsion of the brutality of this. Way to go people. We are not dead yet.

      Comment by FTCS — Wednesday June 26, 2013 @ 4:28pm EDT  
    • hahaha. good one. people need to get over slavery too, is that your point?

      Comment by hahaha — Thursday June 27, 2013 @ 12:56pm EDT  
    • Agreed, jeesh.

      Comment by Anonymous — Friday June 28, 2013 @ 3:05am EDT  
  • Yeah. And Mel Gibson too. LOL

    Comment by Julian — Monday June 24, 2013 @ 5:34pm EDT  
  • “[R]ecent use” of racial slurs? The deposition says the ill-chosen word was uttered in 1986. Half of Hollywood was in diapers in 1986. Get over it, indeed.

    Comment by jimmy — Monday June 24, 2013 @ 5:41pm EDT  
    • 1986? Okay for the N-word, since it was so acceptable back then…(86?) But, her “Sambo” burger demo on her show? Check out just how recently that was. A Sambo burger? No. Banal evil is still evil.

      Comment by Sean — Monday June 24, 2013 @ 8:22pm EDT  
  • When will it all end?

    Comment by toomanygrandkids — Monday June 24, 2013 @ 5:43pm EDT  
  • This is absolutely ridiculous. She made a stupid fucking comment and apologized for it. Lets have a real goddamned conversation about race in this country before we start vilifying and destroying the careers and lives of others. Oh wait, that would be the difficult thing to do as opposed to doing what’s easy.

    Comment by Walter — Monday June 24, 2013 @ 5:49pm EDT  
  • Exactly, because there is nothing wrong with calling people the N word as recently as a couple of years ago and wanting an all black wait staff dressed as slaves. I for one will never patronize anything with her name.

    Comment by PhillipP — Monday June 24, 2013 @ 6:07pm EDT  
    • you don’t have to i’ll do it for you

      Comment by Anonymous — Saturday June 29, 2013 @ 9:52pm EDT  
  • I’m confused. Did she use racial slurs on the air or in public or something? Or did this all happen years ago behind closed doors before she was famous?

    Comment by bmg — Monday June 24, 2013 @ 6:20pm EDT  
  • My Lord, please leave her alone. If the food net work don’t want her it’s there lost. The Lord said those with out sin cast the first stone. They act like she killed someone. I have heard back people call each other the N word and that’s ok. So come on.

    Comment by Barbara Stepp — Monday June 24, 2013 @ 6:34pm EDT  
  • Paula Deen we love you. We will still by your products.

    Comment by Barbara Stepp — Monday June 24, 2013 @ 6:36pm EDT  
    • Barbara, Are you a “Roads” scholar “buy” any chance?

      Comment by Rick — Monday June 24, 2013 @ 7:33pm EDT  
    • This time next month there won’t be anywhere you can buy her products. Okay, maybe Ebay.

      Comment by Jason S. — Friday June 28, 2013 @ 6:32pm EDT  
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