Diabetes Drug Company Novo Nordisk has become the latest company to suspend or end deals with Savannah chef and businesswoman Paula Deen. Deen signed a controversial deal with Novo Nordisk shortly after learning she herself had been diagnosed with a form of Diabetes. The company says in a statement they may reconsider a deal with Deen in the future.
Statement from Novo Nordisk regarding Paula Deen
"Novo Nordisk and Paula Deen have mutually agreed to suspend our patient education activities for now, while she takes time to focus her attention where it is needed. Novo Nordisk would like to acknowledge Paula's involvement in our Diabetes in a New Light™ campaign, where she has helped make many people aware of type 2 diabetes and the lifestyle changes needed to control this serious disease."
Meanwhile retailers Wal-Mart and Home Depot have also separated themselves from Paula Deen Enterprises. Wal-Mart said in a statement that they would not stock Deen's line of cookware and home products beyond the current order.
(AP) Smithfield Foods says they are dropping Paula Deen as spokesperson. The announcement Monday came days after the Food Network said it would not renew Deen's contract. Deen admitted using racial slurs in the past in a deposition that came to light last week in a discrimination lawsuit.
In a statement, Smithfield said it "condemns the use of offensive and discriminatory language and behavior of any kind."
Deen was scheduled to appear on NBC's "Today" show on Wednesday, according to host Matt Lauer. Last week she abruptly canceled on the morning show.
While questioned last month in a discrimination lawsuit, the 66-year-old Food Network star admitted to using the N-word in the past, but she insisted she and her family do not tolerate prejudice.
The Food Network says it will not renew the contract of celebrity chef Paula Deen, days after it was revealed she admitted using racial slurs in the past. The network said in a news release Friday afternoon that it would not renew Deen's contract when it expires at the end of the month.
Deen has built an empire from her television shows, cookbooks and product endorsements. The Food Network began airing "Paula's Home Cooking" in 2002 and added "Paula's Best Dishes" in 2008. Deen admitted while being questioned as part of a lawsuit that she had used racial slurs in the past. The network's announcement came just hours after she posted a video online apologizing for her past mistakes.
June 26th, WAVE-TV reported Caesars Entertainment Corporation announced it will not renew the corporation's business relationship with Paula Deen Enterprises.
Sunday, published reports by TMZ and US Weekly stated that Deen's contract with QVC may also be in question. Deen often appears on the home sales network to showcase her line of cookware. Reports say the network has not officially ended the relationship, however they 'do not have any immediate plans' to have her appear. In a statement released to WSAV.com the company confirmed:
"QVC shares the concerns being raised around the unfortunate Paula Deen situation. QVC does not tolerate discriminatory behavior. We are closely monitoring these events and the ongoing litigation. We are reviewing our business relationship with Ms. Deen, and in the meantime, we have no immediate plans to have her appear on QVC." - Paul Capelli, Vice President, Corporate Communications, QVC, Inc.
In a video statement, Deen stated "Please forgive me for the mistakes I have made". The full video statement, released Friday by her team, has now been taken down from the Internet. NBC News obtained a copy before the video was removed. Shortly after 4pm Friday, a different, much longer video of Deen was published to her YouTube channel.
"I want to apologize to everybody for the wrong that I've done I want to learn and grow from this …inappropriate hurtful language is totally is totally unacceptable…I've made plenty of mistakes along the way but I beg you my children my team my fans my partners I beg for your forgiveness…please forgive me for the mistakes that I have made."
In a statement late Friday, Caesars Entertainment, owner of Harras Casinos made this statement: "Paula Deen has acknowledged using a racial slur in the past. As a company with a longstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion, Caesars Entertainment is deeply disturbed by what we are reading in the press and strongly object to any use of racial epithets. We will continue to monitor the situation." -Gary Thompson Director of Corporate Communications Caesars Entertainment Corporation
Paula Deen has a marketing agreement with the Caesars Entertainment, as well as a restaurant inside one of their properties.
Multiple published reports from RADAR online and United Press International say celebrity chef and Savannah star Paula Deen admitted to making racially insensitive comments and jokes. The statements were allegedly made during a deposition given May 17th for a pending lawsuit brought by Lisa Jackson, a former employee. Jackson is a Savannah resident.
Deen was scheduled to appear on NBC's Today Show Friday, but failed to appear on Set, hosts said. Deen did arrive in New York, but reportedly did not leave her room for the network television appearance.
Statement from Attorney Bill Franklin: "Contrary to media reports. Ms. Deen does not condone or find the use of racial epithets acceptable. She is looking forward to her day in court."
According to a published report from UPI.com: "Deen, 66, said she used the N-word and wanted black waiters to dress and act as slaves at a wedding party she was planning. She was questioned for three hours during a hearing for a $1.2 million lawsuit filed in 2012. -
NEW: Read all of the court documents as obtained by the Huffington Post at the bottom of this article.
The lawsuit covers the claims of Lisa Jackson, former general manager of Deen's Savannah restaurant. Jackson said that Deen used the N-word habitually. The suit also alleges sexual harassment, infliction of distress and assault by Deen's brother, Bubba Hiers.
In court, Jackson's attorney asked Deen whether she used the N-word.
"Yes, of course," Deen responded. She followed with examples of their use, and defended the types of racist jokes she told.
"It's just what they are -- they're jokes," Deen said. "Most jokes are about Jewish people, rednecks, black folks…I can't determine what offends another person."
Deen said she didn't think the slave costumes were offensive, either, as they were part of a Civil War-themed event. She got the idea from a restaurant she and her husband visited."
WSAV.com spoke with sources close to Deen who say the Food Network star is here in Savannah and "this situation is crazy, but she is doing well".
Rainbow PUSH Investigates Deen: (Press Release 6/21)
"The Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, a not for profit civil right and human rights organization founded by Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr. has sent Attorney Robert Patillo to investigate recent claims of racial discrimination, sexual harassment and target area harassment by Food Network Chef Paula Deen and associates in the Savannah.
A lawsuit filed in Federal Court has laid out allegations that Mrs. Deen along with family members and management participated in racial and sexual harassment. During her sworn deposition Mrs. Deen admitted to having used "The N-word" and also her desire to have an Ante-bellum slavery themed wedding party.
Several current and former employees have reported that Mrs. Deen and her family members have physically assaulted a black employee, referred to employees as "The N-word," failed to promote black employees to management positions and further created a hostile work environment. Attorney Janice L. Mathis, VP of Rainbow PUSH indicates that the organization "will take a closer look at Paula Deen's company to determine whether the allegations are credible, and if so, do they constitute a widespread pattern or practice of illegal exclusion. It may also be relevant to determine whether the company has any state or federal contracts. We are not making any assumptions about these very serious charges, but we are investigating and will report our findings publicly.
Attorney Patillo will be in Savannah to speak with individuals associated with the case as to determine what further actions may be needed. Further, Mr. Patillo will be meeting with Civil and Human rights organizations to create a plan of action if such is deemed necessary."
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