Yet Another Company Drops Paula Deen

Plus: The apology tour begins?
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 24, 2013 2:14 PM CDT
This 2006 file photo originally released by the Food Network shows celebrity chef Paula Dean.   (AP Photo/ Food Network, file)

(Newser) – Yet another company has dropped Paula Deen in the wake of the Food Network giving her the boot and QVC apparently thinking about doing the same. Smithfield, a major pork company (that was recently purchased by a Chinese company), says it will no longer partner with Deen for her line of "Paula Deen Collection" hams in the wake of her n-word controversy, TMZ reports. "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," reads a statement from the company. As such, "we are terminating our partnership with Paula Deen." (Hilariously, it was a Smithfield ham Deen was once hit in the face with.)

Meanwhile, the racism flap grows: A black man who used to work with Deen and her brother says Paula often used him and other workers from her brother's restaurant to staff parties at her mansion, but rarely paid them. "She just gave us beer and alcohol for working all those days," he tells Radar. In one case, he says, he didn't want to work a party "but they threatened our jobs and put it on the line." He claims he and a few other black men were forbidden from talking to the guests. It seems the Paula Deen Apology Tour is about to begin: She's appearing on Today Wednesday, after she canceled her originally scheduled appearance last Friday, Us reports. But in more bad news for Deen, the publisher of her upcoming cookbook tells People it is "monitoring the situation closely," and Sears says it is "exploring next steps" with regard to her line of products. (Read more Paula Deen ham stories.)

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