There are some things not even “I’m Sorry” cookies can cover.
Following allegations of racism in a damning case dished up by former employee Lisa Jackson, celebrity chef Paula Deen has been dropped by Food Network. It’s been a week of controversy for Deen, since she admitted in deposition that she had used racial slurs at times in the past.
With her contract due to expire at the end of the month, Food Network have confirmed that there will be no renewal for Deen, the host of two popular shows.
The discrimination complaint and lawsuit, raised by Ms Jackson, relates to a period of employment with Paula Deen Enterprises, owned by Deen and brother Bubba Hiers, and states: “the Defendants have engaged in the most heinous, abusive and disreputable conduct, and… have caused substantial financial and emotional harm to Ms Jackson and others…”
The chef was due to appear on Today this morning, however in a bizarre series of events, cancelled her appearance, issuing instead several Youtube videos as an apology and statement.
In the first video, Deen states that “inappropriate, hurtful language is totally, totally unacceptable.” This video was later removed from Youtube, however it did not escape being posted by several popular news sites.
In the second video, a longer apology, Deen discusses the cancellation of her appearance on Today explaining that, “the pain has been tremendous that I have caused to myself and to others,” and that it left her feeling unable to be interviewed.
"I want people to understand that my family and I are not the kind of people that the press [wants] to say we are,” she says. “I am here to say that I am so sorry. I was wrong, and I’ve made mistakes, but that is no excuse.
“I offer my sincere apology to those that I have hurt… and I hope that you forgive me, because this comes from the deepest part of my heart.”
Deen also later issued a third video apologizing to Today host, Matt Lauer, for missing their planned interview.
The videos come days after details of the allegations discussed in the lawsuit by Ms Jackson were published in the National Enquirer.
The phrase “cooking up a storm” has never seemed so apt.