2 more partners drop Paula Deen

Target and Novo Nordisk sever ties with the celebrity chef, bringing the total number of major deals gone cold to 7.

By Kim Peterson Jun 27, 2013 12:49PM
Paula Deen poses with fans in New York City on June 5, 2013 (© Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)Updated 2 p.m. ET

The bad news keeps coming for Paula Deen.

Target (TGT) and Novo Nordisk (NONOF) are the latest companies to cut ties with the television chef in the controversy over racial slurs she has used in the past.

Now, seven high-profile corporate partners have either suspended or ended their relationships with Deen.

Target said it will phase out its cookware and other products that carry Deen's name, according to The Associated Press. And Novo Nordisk, which makes treatments for diabetes drugs, said it will suspend its activities with Deen for the time being.

Wednesday, Wal-Mart (WMT), Home Depot (HD) and Caesars Entertainment (CZR) backed away from doing business with Deen. Wal-Mart and Home Depot said they would also phase out Deen-branded items, and Caesars said it would rename the four Paula Deen restaurants in its casinos.

One crisis manager estimated that the severed relationships could cost Deen tens of millions of dollars in sponsorship cash in the long run. "She will never be whole again," Howard Bragman, vice chairman of Reputation.com, told The Daily Ticker. "You just can't say it's a one-time hit of $3 (million) or $4 million dollars, I think it's much more than that. I think its tens of millions of dollars when you look at it over time."

Before the scandal hit, Deen had at least 17 licensing and endorsement gigs, The New York Times reported. Food Network and Smithfield Foods (SFD) have also terminated partnerships with the chef.

Deen has come under fire after the public learned of her comments in a discrimination lawsuit deposition. According to a transcript of her May 17 testimony, she said, "Yes, of course," when asked if she had ever used the N-word. She also said it was fine that her brother showed pornography to co-workers while at work and that she taught her children that it was fine to use the N-word in a joke.

Forbes has ranked Deen No. 4 on its list of top-earning celebrity chefs. She made $4.5 million in 2008, the magazine reported, and her income grew to an estimated $17 million last year.

Even Martha Stewart has weighed in on the controversy. "I feel sorry for Paula Deen," Stewart reportedly told television host Andy Cohen. "She's a public figure. And I know you have to be extremely careful being a public figure."

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Jun 27, 2013 3:18PM
We all need to lighten up. Wars are brewing, Syrians are being slaughtered by the thousands, natural disasters everywhere and you're worried about Paula Deen  saying ****?? 30 years ago Really?? I am blacker than an ace of spades being from Nigeria and I get comments from American Blacks all the time. Oh, " Look how black he is" or" listen to his funny accent." This is coming from people that call then selves African Americans. Excuse me but if you were not born in Africa like myself you cannot be called African unless you were BORN there. So what if your great ,great, great ,great  grandparents came from there??How come  no other race of people hang on to the same old story except American Blacks???Every Italian or Russian, or Saudi does run around saying" I am Saudi American or I am French American or I am Chinese American or I am Russian American. Granted, slavery is wrong and was wrong but it happened not just in America but all over the world and not just to black people. Ever heard of Jews folks??? Hate is everywhere, always has been always will be as long as this garbage keeps up. Blacks from America are Americans, I am from Nigeria so I am Nigerian, so on and so forth. Right now in my country Christians are being slaughtered black on black, raiding villages, killing and raping innocent beautiful black people , my countrymen. Why?? Who the hell really knows, money, power, influence? Get it??? Oh and you can actually understand me when I speak the Queen's English unlike American Black Ebonics. Yo wat up gee? or Wat up nigga?? That's all I hear coming from so-called AFRICAN AMERICANS. Get an education and let go of the past that you did not even participate in. I do not see anyone in chains except the chains of hate in your minds. Just let it go and quit looking for an excuse to hate.
Jun 27, 2013 2:07PM

I think this is totally stupid! What ever happened to that case that started all this?

As an African American, I can say without a doubt, there isn't 1 adult that can say they didn't make a racial slur, intended or unintended, in their lifetime

Jun 27, 2013 1:15PM
what a load of bs. These companies have no spines at all.
Jun 27, 2013 2:05PM
Where's the problem when someone like criss rock comes on stage and every other word is the N-word, all i hear is the black laughing there **** off. SO WHERE'S THE PROBLEM
Jun 27, 2013 2:23PM
Hang tight Paula,  Every adult at one time in their lives has made a mistake.  I will still buy your products.  You are still one of my favorite Cheifs...Smile, stand tall and sway.  The storm will pass.
Jun 27, 2013 2:01PM
The woman suing should get NOTHING!  If Paula Deen is losing all her income, the woman should get NOTHING!  Whether you stand behind Paula Deen or not, she didn't say anything bad on air.  It's come down to believing the celebrity or believing the worker.  Apparently the worker has more pull and the ones firing her or renaming their restaurants are cowards.  I won't patronize most of the companies pulling Paula Deen's merchandise.
Jun 27, 2013 2:50PM
RACISM, the word is used one sided anymore. What person can say they never used that "N" word 25 years ago? Hell more black people use the word than white, yellow, or even green people do. This is proof that our country is to hung up on politcal correctness. Too many liberals in control of our media and political system.  What a shame!
Jun 27, 2013 2:40PM
Has anyone even listened to a rap song lately?  Also I'm so glad that everyone else is perfect, they have never made a misstep or said something they regretted.  Wow how do you get to be that wonderful and never mess up?  Please, please tell the rest of us human beings how you got to be so perfect!!!   
Jun 27, 2013 2:34PM
This is totally bogus BS cranked up by the biased media.  The woman was under oath and told the truth.  Guess you can't tell the truth anymore.  In a time when "your" president Obuma wants to end discrimination, stories and actions like this just keep it going.  I will continue to support  you and buy your products Paula Dee"N"!
Jun 27, 2013 3:07PM

I heard this in an article and I have to repeat it. "Political correctness is just tyranny with manners"


Jun 27, 2013 2:57PM
Seems to me that now everyone is just jumping on the bandwagon.  What she did was wrong, and she was uber-clumsey in her so called apologies.  But making her this devil is unwarrented. It's very disappointing that this lady who seemed like a real "good guy", full of smiles and good will, has some undesireable traits, but to villify her like they have, is over the top.  She did not commit murder, she was unwise in her words and who she used them around.  Get a grip, people. Ethnic slurs have been used against me in my life, and I walked away whole. So should others.
Jun 27, 2013 2:17PM
I rarely watched Paula Deen, but she should be given another chance. In some form or another everyone is a racism whether you want to admit it or not.. Very seldom does everyone like what someone says or do. This whole racism didn't start until 2008 calling everyone who disagreed with people a racism.
Jun 27, 2013 3:04PM
Jun 27, 2013 3:48PM
Here is a person that was honest about having said something wrong many, many years ago. On the other hand, we have people like Anthony Wiener who had to have the truth pummeled out of him, and now he's finding support for the NY mayoral race.  We have people like Eric Holder, Hillary Clinton, and the IRS who can't speak without lying, but where's the outrage regarding their transgressions?  I never paid much attention to Paula Deen, but given the treatment she's received, I will support her and any company that sticks with her. This is PC BS at its worst.
Jun 27, 2013 3:07PM

as all sharpton said this happen 30 year,s ago get over it and move on these company want

to keep the black shopper,s coming back that is the bottom line.

Jun 27, 2013 3:24PM
Paula Deen just needs to lay low for a while - no more teary TV interviews- stay out of the public view.  If she surrounds herself with family and friends she trusts, takes a break, then it may be possible for her to re-invent her brand.  The stress is showing on her face, and a trip to a new and different beauty salon/day spa - new hair color and style - would help also.  Her brand of "southern cooking" is about the worst there is - and very out of date.  Have you seen the folks lined up at her place in Savannah - ?  A new health and weight conscious Paula Deen style would be much more welcome to American diners right now.   
Jun 27, 2013 4:25PM
Paula Deen had numerous incidents of treating African American people as inferior.  She has several employees filing suits.  It is a shame that she and her sons have tried to say horrible things about the person filing the lawsuit when Paula admitted in a court documents she as used the "n-word".  It's a shame that she can't just apologize and not try and cast others in a bad light.  This is not the first time claim about Paula Deen being racist there have been numerous claims over the years.  She lied and said she had never used the "n-word'.  Not until she was under oath in court documents did she tell the truth.  This is not about her being racist it is about her character which involves lying, mistreating employees, racist behavior, and further trying to alienate the victim who is suing her.  She is a horrible role model and deserves everything that is happening to her.  You people who are defending need to have a little more compassion for victims being abused in the workplace.  At the end of the day is it really worth it "ya'll" to support someone who has been so deceitful.  If we expect better behavior from our children then we definitely need to expect higher standards from adult role models. 
Jun 27, 2013 3:57PM
This entire ordeal is just how insane this racial discrimination crap has gone off the deep end in our Country.  The only thing Paula did wrong was to tell the TRUTH.  This pitiful rant should be an eye opening for all to stop this mayhem now.
Jun 27, 2013 3:29PM
I wonder how many of these companies are dropping her because of what she said or are just finding out that their contract with her wasn't as beneficial as they thought it was going to be so in turn they are able to cut the contract do to an immorality clause.
Jun 27, 2013 3:17PM

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