Paula Deen cancelled an appearance in New York City this week, one of the few engagements that had remained on her schedule in the wake of a recent scandal.
Deen had been slated to appear at the New York City Wine & Food Festival, hosting the Classic Comfort Brunch. But this week a message appeared on the festival’s website letting ticket buyers know that Deen had pulled out.
The note read:
“Paula Deen has informed us that she will not be appearing at this year’s Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival so as not to distract from the charitable mission of the Festival. While we are disappointed, we understand and support her decision.”
A scandal broke last month when Deen admitted to using the N-word in the past. In the fallout, the Food Network dropped Deen from her show, a number of sponsors dumped Deen, and she even split with her longtime agent, Barry Weiner.
News that Paula Deen cancels her appearance in New York comes after it seemed she had distanced herself from the scandal a bit. After a blitz of bad press, Deen had remained quiet in recent weeks and even began to make up some ground.
Her Royal Caribbean Cruise became so popular that a second booking was added, and Deen’s cookbooks also saw a boom in sales.
In the last week in June, the Nielsen BookScan reported a 700 percent increase in sales of Deen’s cookbooks. Nearly half of the sales came from her most recent book, Paula Deen’s Southern Cooking Bible.
But despite the uptick in sales, marketing experts believe Paula Deen as a brand is finished.
“Paula Deen is finished as a bankable personality,” said crisis communications expert Gene Grabowski of Levick Strategic Communications. “It doesn’t appear that anyone will stand behind her now. Her video apologies seemed stage and were unpersuasive. There is nothing more she likely can do in terms of salvaging her career.”
The word that Paula Deen cancels her appearance in New York City would seem to support that idea.