Paula Deen blames the media for blowing the racist deposition story out of proportion in one of two apology videos, leading to her Food Network breakup — but the popular food channel believes the star’s reps are to blame for the celeb chef’s fall from grace.
The Paula Deen race controversy began to heat up this week when tabloid The National Enquirer publicized some portions of a deposition given by Deen in a lawsuit brought by a former employee.
In the deposition, Deen appears to casually admit to using the n-word (replying “yes, of course” when asked if she’d used it before) before relaying a slavery-inspired event idea she’d had in alarming detail.
The quotes prompted a very large public reaction, and Paula Deen’s racist commentary was alternately decried as unacceptable and pooh-poohed as more a produce of “the PC police” at it again, depending on who you talked to.
It appears Food Network talked to the former camp, as we learned yesterday that Deen had been fired following her racist remarks on May 17.
But TMZ says it wasn’t the deposition that caused Food Network to can Paula Deen — it was the subsequent bungled apology that downed the butter-loving star:
“Paula Deen’s PR team botched her n-word apology so badly… the Food Network had no choice but to fire her, sources close to the network tell TMZ… According to our sources, her management’s clumsy damage control — backing out of the Matt Lauer interview and releasing multiple lame mea culpas — was the primary reason the Food Network pulled the plug on the celebrity chef.”
The original Paula Deen racism apology video is above, but a second video — added after the star hastily scrubbed the first — was also rapidly removed.
It’s difficult to tell how Paula Deen feels about the whole thing, considering how rapidly and thoroughly it blew up after the Enquirer story.
But the Los Angeles Times notes that “critics [of Paula Deen in the racism flap] — those who say she did not take into consideration how her words may have hurt others — will no doubt notice the subtle ways in which her statement talks about how much she has been hurt by the controversy” in both the first and second (now deleted) apology videos.