Paula Deen is being fired by the Food Network.
The cooking channel announced late this afternoon that it "will not renew Paula Deen’s contract when expires it at end of month," according to Mediaite and several other sources.
The celebrity chef has been engulfed in controversy as a result of a lawsuit filed by former employee Lisa Jackson who accused Deen and her brother of sexual harassment and using racial slurs while she worked as manager of Uncle Bubba’s Seafood and Oyster House in Savannah, Ga. The revelations emerged as a result of deposition transcripts in the case.
Representatives with the Food Network previously stated that they were evaluating the situation adding that they do “not tolerate any form of discrimination and [are] a strong proponent of diversity and inclusion.” In essence, however, the handwriting was on the wall for Paula Deen, i.e., that she would likely get her "burn notice" as it were.
Deen, 66, was supposed to appear on the Today Show this morning, but was a no-show.
Deen uploaded a YouTube apology earlier today, which since has been taken down. She replaced it with a second "helping" which is embedded above. In the video, Deen maintains that she and her family are not being portrayed fairly in the media and also says in part "I'm so sorry; yes I've worked hard and I've made mistakes, but that is no excuse, and I offer my sincere apology to those I have hurt and I hope that you forgive me because this comes from the deepest part of my heart. And I will continue work and continue to do good things for good people." She also added that she was physically unable to make the Today Show appearance.
In additional legal problems for Paula Deen, she and the other defendants were allegedly held in contempt of court for failing to turn over a blooper reel in which she swears up a storm and even simulates a sex act. They subsequently complied with the court order, RadarOnline reports.
Are you at all surprised that the Food Network is parting ways with Paula Deen?
Statement from Food Network spokesman: “Food Network will not renew Paula Deen's contract when it expires at the end of this month.”
— Hunter Walker (@hunterw) June 21, 2013
Added: The Food Network has yet to elaborate on its decision not to renew Deen's contract according to Deadline Hollywood. "Today the Food Network did not say why Deen was dropped. But a media frenzy mounted over the revelations in that deposition for the lawsuit ... In the document, Deen admitted that in her past she used racial slurs in her family life and tolerated racist jokes in the workplace, all of which ran counter to her beloved image."