In the aftermath of the release of court deposition testimony in which celebrity chef Paula Deen admitted to using a racial slur in the past, Meyer Corp., which holds the Paula Deen license for cookware, kitchenware and tableware, is continuing to “monitor and assess the situation,” the company said. The most recent fallout, in the wake of the deposition’s release last Wednesday and following Food Network’s decision not to renew Deen’s contract, was the announcement yesterday that Smithfield Foods has terminated its partnership with Deen, who will no longer be a spokesperson for the company.
In addition, QVC has said that it is reviewing its business relationship with Deen, according to a company spokesperson.
“QVC does not tolerate discriminatory behavior. We are closely monitoring these events and the ongoing litigation,” QVC spokesperson Paul Capelli said, as reported on foxnews.com. “We are reviewing our business relationship with Ms. Deen, and in the meantime, we have no immediate plans to have her appear on QVC.”
Smithfield also issued a statement regarding its decision to part ways with Deen.
“Smithfield condemns the use of offensive and discriminatory language and behavior of any kind,” the company said in the statement. “Therefore, we are terminating our partnership with Paula Deen. Smithfield is determined to be an ethical food industry leader, and it is important that our values and those of our spokespeople are properly aligned.”
On June 21, The Food Network announced its decision not to renew Deen’s contract when it expires at the end of this month.
In the deposition, which was part of a lawsuit filed by a former employee, Deen was asked if she had ever used the “N” word. She replied “Yes, of course.” When asked the context, she replied that she may have used the term when relaying an experience to her husband of having a gun held to her head by a black man during a bank robbery.
When asked if she’d used the word since, she replied, “I’m sure I have, but it’s been a very long time.”
In the wake of the deposition’s release last Wednesday and the Food Network’s decision, Deen canceled an appearance on the Today Show last Friday and has issued three videotaped apologies.
UPDATE: Deen appeared on the Today Show Wednesday morning to address her situation. Deen kept her comments personally focused, saying: “The main reason I am here today, Matt, is it’s important to me that I tell you, and everyone out there, what I believe and how I live my life. I believe that every creature in this earth— every one of God’s creatures— was created equal, no matter who you choose to go to bed at night with, no matter what church you go to pray. I believe that everyone should be treated equal, and that’s the way I was raised, and that’s the way I live my life.”
When asked about her now-severed ties with Food Network and Smithfield Foods along with how this might affect her other partnerships, Deen thanked the partners that are standing by her in the wake of recent events.
“I am so very thankful for the partners that I have that believe in me,” she said.
When Lauer asked her if she was a racist, Deen replied, “No. No I am not.”