Paula Deen loses Wal-Mart deal, hires crisis expert

The embattled television chef still has numerous endorsements in place and hopes to turn things around.

By Kim Peterson Jun 26, 2013 3:00PM
Updated 4:10 p.m. ET

Paula Deen lost two more sponsorship deals Wednesday after Wal-Mart (WMT) and Caesars Entertainment (CZR) decided to end their relationships with her.

The move comes after Smithfield Foods (SFD) terminated its gig with her Monday. Smithfield's deal was the most significant of all of Deen's at least 17 licensing and endorsement partnerships, The New York Times reported.
Trying to turn things around, Deen has hired a company that specializes in crisis and scandal, Advertising Age reported. One of the company's first moves was to get her back on to Wednesday's "Today" show (see the video here), where she tearfully addressed the controversy surrounding her use of the N-word.

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.Paula Deen (© Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)

Food Network responded quickly to the comments, saying it will not renew the celebrity chef's contract after it expires at the end of the month. That was followed by Smithfield, Caesars Entertainment and Wal-Mart.

The retailer said it will not place any new orders for Deen-branded products. The company had been carrying her products since 2011, The Associated Press reported.

Caesars is going to rename the four Paula Deen restaurants it has in its Horseshoe Southern Indiana; Harrah's Tunica, Miss.; Harrah's Joliet, Ill.; and Harrah's Cherokee, N.C., casinos.

Deen is trying to hold on to her remaining sponsors, including diabetes drugmaker Novo Nordisk (NONOF). One of her partners, Tasty Blend Foods, said it was pleased with her interview on "Today" and will continue the relationship. "We are very saddened that she is being judged by her past. Everyone has made a mistake sometime in their lives," the company said in a statement, according to Ad Age.

Another partner, Landies Candies, also affirmed support, and a Random House spokesman said the company still plans to publish a new Deen cookbook this fall.

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Jun 26, 2013 4:18PM
Please select like if you ever used the word "niggar". Not that I promote using the word .. I don't ... depending on the context of the statement. This is for all people no matter what nationality. 
Jun 26, 2013 3:54PM

I'm shocked at this. I don't agree with the racist comment stuff, but should we all be so shocked that an old white lady from the south made some off color remarks? Come on...


I read an article earlier that some football propect called Ole Miss racist.. nobody seems to be too offended by that.

Jun 26, 2013 4:27PM
Paula is being vilified for words she used over 30 years ago.  Time to forgive and forget.   How come all the black rappers can get away with using that word.  I think that word is discusting, no matter what color you are.  Do you ever listen to the language used by Joan Rivers on that fashion show of hers?  Now that's really bad.  And on the Kartrashians  show - it's  mostly bleeps because they use the "F" word all the time. 
Jun 26, 2013 4:15PM
A lot of African American people call each other niggers all the time and so has a lot of other nationalities at one point or another. Paula was honest and apologized ... she admitted what she did and why...and, as far as I'm concerned, it was appropriate use at the time, anyone who does those kinds of things is "uncivilized" which in another word for **** has nothing to do with skin color. If I was Paula I'd just move to another network. A name is a name and if someone doesn't like it .... don't take ownership of it period. Media just likes to milk garbage for ratings. I'd like to see all the Food Network personalities asked if they have ever used the word.  Would they be honest? (like Paula) I doubt it...just more lies.
Jun 26, 2013 4:31PM

I have to say this business with Paul Deen has really upset me!! The woman admits she said some things several years ago and she's hung on the cross for it!!!  She certainly isn't the first to do it and she certainly won't  be the last. Our society is so screwed up! It's ok for this one to say things and get by with it or laugh about it, but then another one pays the price for everyone else's sins as well. I just don't agree with it at all. We are ALL human and sometimes we say things we shouldn't say; not necessarily racist. She strikes me as a good person who admited to saying something she shouldn't have. Let's face it, it boils down to money and someone getting it for free. People need  to stop  trying to catch a ride on someone else's coat tails! I've been called all sorts of things in the past ,but I'm not taking someone to court over it. Paula Deen has helped make some of these companies a lot of money and they are just going to throw her out like a piece of trash!!! Let the woman cook and make other people lives more enjoyable with good food. Our society needs to re group. If she said things and was heard saying them on a regular basis and right now in the present, I could understand. At least she was HONEST!!! Does that count for something????

Jun 26, 2013 4:35PM
Too many people are too self righteous . I'm not surprised that Wal Mart bailed it has taken a hit in public opinion lately and wanted to get on the band wagon. I am on a personal boycott of Wal Mart. In regards to Smithfield Ham, it has been bought by a Chinese corporation anyway! So for that reason I am boycotting that company. What fool has not said something that they regret!!
Jun 26, 2013 3:29PM
she should take her case to the spreme court because her freedom of speech is being vilolated,some people don't believe in forgiving ones past.
Jun 26, 2013 4:38PM
So Paula can't use the "N word" but black people can call white people "honky" or "whitey", etc..  Get over it people & stop sensationalizing nonsense.  It is no different than "guinea" or sp!c or     t0welhead, zipperhead,etc..  We have all been called it & we moved on.
Jun 26, 2013 4:43PM


          I don't agree with being prejudice, and that word is not a word I chose to use, but if you look it up in the dictionary one of the meaning of "****" is an ignorant person of any color or race, not just black. And please explain to me, why are there allowed to be, black family reunions, black colleges, black awards and black beauty pageants  and that's not being prejudice.

Jun 26, 2013 4:04PM
The U,S, has come up with a new form of censorship. Everyone makes a fool of themselves once in a while.
Jun 26, 2013 4:38PM
Everyone makes mistakes.  She made an apology; move on.
Jun 26, 2013 4:13PM
I can't believe you people, If you think you are a christian then really think about it, it is about forgiveness, I have said that many times right along with everybody else, all it takes is one black person to take offense(always winning, poor me) I applaud the black people who have stood up and said enough! You are a respected hard working people who feel the same, what about it Wendy Williams( too fat), Smithfield (too fake), Food network ( lousy show) ( Paula go to GAC, much better), and now Caesars (machines are rigged), knowing you've never said or done NOTHING wrong, Two Faced trashy people ,low down , hope people will stop watching, buying, and going. and you wonder why blacks are called names everybody who has blasted Paula for something that happened years ago look at your past and say you've done nothing or said anything you regretted. Remember you can't lie to God, he knows. and he sees how your treating another person who has done nothing that you haven't done yourself!
Jun 26, 2013 4:28PM

I would drop Wal-Mart  but I have done that long time ago.  The "speak easys" are out there to control all our thoughts and words. 1984 was just a little late. I like Smithfields but will or have dripped them.  NO ONE has not ever had a racial thought or word spoken or thought go through your mind or lips NO ONE!!!! Regardless what word it was. 

Jun 26, 2013 4:32PM
The hypocrisy is amazing. We are looking back 30 or 40 years at something someone said on few occasions. If we were to exclude from public life all black people who referred to whites as "white MFs", we would see fewer blacks on TV. That despicable SOB Al Sharpton has never paid the court ordered damages for defamation of the Dutchess County, NY District Attorney, whom Al defamed on many occasions during the Tawana Brawley circus. I have used the N word, but probably not in the past 40 years. I think it's wrong and offensive. Does that condemn me for all time?
Jun 26, 2013 4:30PM
I like her and do feel sorry for her but don't believe it's about what she said 30 years ago. She's being sued by former employee's because they claim that she constantly used racial slurs and jokes making for a hostile work environment.
Jun 26, 2013 4:34PM
This is just a giant load of horse manure.  So she said something many years ago.  I hear the "Brothers" calling each other the "N" word all the time in Rap music.  Is that ok?  Seems like a little racial profiling going on here.

And by the way, what about the time that the race pimp Jessie Jackson called the Jews in New York Himees?  I didn't see Brother Al Sharpton coming out of the woodwork back then.
Oh I get it now:  they only scream racism when it will benefit their cause not when it will hurt them. Kind of a double standard there isn't it boys??

Well the next time I hear someone call a white person a honky, cracker or any other word I bet $1,000 that neither of the race pimps (Jackson and Sharpton) will have anything to say.  And by the way, that might be a good thing since they are full of ****.

Just saying....
Jun 26, 2013 4:33PM
If this was only about her using the n-word 30 years ago, I'd say this blow-up was ridiculous.  Times were different then, and presumably she has developed more open ideas about society as she has gained life experience.  But, she apparently hasn't changed or developed over time.  The "plantation wedding" idea was within the past few years.  She and her brother are being sued for racial and sexual harassment.  If you've ever watched her for more than three minutes, you've heard her make sexual innuendos, which makes me believe the sexual harassment part.  Given her admissions about the plantation wedding, it's not a leap to believe the racial harassment charge, too.  For Pete's sake, her defense on the Today Show was that someone is jealous of her and out to get her.  Just another example of how out of touch with reality this woman is.  I sure wouldn't want her representing me.
Jun 26, 2013 6:16PM
So nice to read the offerings from other celebrity chefs and co-hurts in the Food Network family and ex-family give their astonished  negative comments towards Paula Deen.... what a bunch of turds...I've worked in and followed the food industry for over 45 years and it is by no means an angelic atmosphere....other than working with a bunch of drunken sailors you could not find any other occupation where EVERYONE talks or says unsavory remarks as well as racial and ethnic overtures towards each other in a friendly and unfriendly manor....anyone says otherwise is full of $h!t.....including Tony B. ..... I don't condone racial or ethnic slurs but the fact is they still exist and are used freely and though Paula Deen has apologized maybe she should feel the rath of the general public but I think if we are a country that forgives and forgets she will rise up again.....
Jun 26, 2013 9:44PM
That's because this damn place had become to politically correct. It's ok for them to sing about their bitches and hoes...n*****. And that little short **** rapper that stamped all over the American Flag in and ooops that was an accident!! Oh...fing please!!!  It's becoming to the point that you can't even  breathe anymore without offending someone and I am damn tired of it. 

People are just jumping on the band wagon cause they are seeing a "WHITE" woman about ready to loose everything she has worked for. So if they can see her fall they are going to be right there. I

None of these people that are bitching about this had anything to do with civil rights and the movements. They might have been born in the 50- 60's but that doesn't make you part of it or getting it here. Those people couldn't walk a mile in those people's shoes that walked and fought for you to not have to sit at a counter by yourself or ride on the back of the bus anymore...or allow you to have education, or drink from a water fountain. They would be ashamed of the behavior that is coming out of this generation that they fought so hard for them to have. 

You are doomed to repeat history if you don't learn from it. Show your ancestors and family some respect!!!! Cause obviously that is one thing that most of the people don't seem to have.

Obama keep pitching that hate that all rich people are bad and hateful cause they worked for what they have...while you are on your 100,000,000.00 dollar vacation, spending more money then you make while there is a sequestration going on!!!!   Don't see any of you all bitching about that though!!!! 
Jun 26, 2013 4:30PM
Some moron thinks this belongs in the Supreme Court because her freedom of speech has been violated!!!!! Have you ever heard a more asinine comment?!?!?! That dumb*ss doesn't realize that she has every right to say whatever she wants to say about anybody but there are consequences that any employer could affect based on her comments. She's free to speak, and she's just as free to be fired. I'm sure the rube that made that comment would like to walk into his boss's office, copy of the Constitution in hand and call him every name in the book and think he's protected by his freedom of speech, spelled out in the US Constitution. No wonder people listen to the Sarah Palins and Sean Hannitys of the world!
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