Will Food Network Cut Ties With Paula Deen?

Her n-word flap raises the possibility

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 20, 2013 5:53 PM CDT

(Newser) – The Food Network says it will "continue to monitor the situation" regarding Paula Deen's
unfolding "n-word" mess, and the LA Times thinks it's more than just boilerplate, that there's a real possibility the network might sever ties. The story quotes one expert as saying it could come down to sponsors—if enough say they want no part of the show, that might be the end for her at the network. All this stems from the newly revealed court deposition out of a discrimination lawsuit brought by one of her restaurant managers. "Yes, of course," she has used the n-word, she said in court, but it was a long time ago. And then there was her (unfulfilled) wish to stage a plantation-style wedding for her brother with all black waiters. (The Huffington Post has the full transcript.)

Today, Deen's lawyer explained further, telling USA Today that the celeb chef grew up in different times, "when America's South had schools that were segregated, different bathrooms, different restaurants and Americans rode in different parts of the bus." But things have changed and so has Deen, says the lawyer, adding that Deen doesn't condone use of the word or discrimination. The AP, meanwhile, talks to a PR expert who thinks that Deen's core audience is probably safe, but she'd be in trouble if she tries to expand further. It also quotes a Texas woman leaving Deen's store in Georgia with a bag full of goodies."Who hasn't ever said that word? I don't think any less of her. She's super friendly." Twitter users are still having a blast naming new Deen dishes.

Paula Deen posing for a portrait in New York last year.   (AP Photo/Carlo Allegri, File)
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