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.
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.
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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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.
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????
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.
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.
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