Paula Deen has been dropped by Smithfield, the world’s largest pork producer and processor.
Deen had a line of hams with the company that was sold under the Paula Deen Collection label.
The Smithfield, Virginia based company told TMZ, “Smithfield condemns the use of offensive and discriminatory language and behavior of any kind. We are terminating our partnership with Paula Deen.”
The company went on to say, “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.”
This is just the latest blow to Deen’s empire in the wake of a taped deposition in which Deen admitted to using the “n-word.” The deposition stemmed from a lawsuit against Deen and her brother, Earl “Bubba” Hiers, by a former employee, Lisa Jackson, who was the manager of Uncle Bubba’s Seafood and Oyster House in Savannah, Georgia. Jackson accused Deen and Hiers of sexual harassment and using racial slurs.
Jackson alleged that, in her presence, Hiers said that President Obama should be sent to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico so he could “n***er rig it.” Jackson also claimed that, when she asked Deen what she wanted the servers at Hiers’ wedding to wear, Deen said, “Well what I would really like is a bunch of little n***ers to wear long-sleeve white shirts, black shorts and black bow ties, you know in the Shirley Temple days, they used to tap dance around.”
According to Jackson, Deen also said, “Now, that would be a true Southern wedding wouldn’t it? But we can’t do that because the media would be on me about that.”
In the deposition, Deen said “of course” when asked if she has used the “n-word.” She also said that she can’t “determine what offends another person” when she makes jokes about blacks, Jews, and rednecks.
Shortly after the deposition came out, the Food Network announced that it would not be renewing Deen’s contract, which expires at the end of June. However, the network did not elaborate on its decision not to renew Deen’s contract.
What do you think of Paula Deen being dropped as Smithfield’s spokeswoman? Do you think other companies will follow?