Paula Deen’s Georgia restaurant saw huge lines of customers this week after the long-time Food Network host was fired for making racist comments.
The Food Network announced Friday in a brief statement that it will not be renewing Deen’s contract, which will expire at the end of the month. As a show of support for the celebrity chef, customers in Savannah waited in lines trailing out the door to eat at Deen’s restaurant, The Lady and Sons.
Deen’s racial slurs were highlighted last week when court documents were filed detailing a deposition given by 66-year-old Deen. In the deposition, she is asked under oath if she has ever used the “N-word,” to which she responded, “Yes, of course.” She has also admitted to wanting to hire an all-black male staff to cater her brother’s 2007 wedding.
Deen sat for the deposition on May 17 after an ex-employee, Lisa Jackson, filed charges against Deen and her brother claiming she was sexually harassed and forced to work in an environment where racial slurs were the norm. Jackson managed Uncle Bubba’s Seafood and Oyster House, another restaurant in Georgia owned by Deen and her brother Bubba Hiers.
Deen has since apologized for her racist comments in awkward YouTube videos claiming she understands the hurtfulness of racial slurs and does not think any less of people because of their race, sex or religion.
Many supporters who posted on Deen’s Facebook page claim racial slurs are just a part of southern culture, as many white people grew up in racist households. Others, however, do not agree with her use of racial slurs and admit she will have a tough time repairing her image despite her huge popularity in the South.
“I was wrong, yes, I’ve worked hard, and I have made mistakes, but that is no excuse and 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 said in her public statement.
Because of her loyal fan base, however, Deen will undoubtedly find another television network to call home — Fox News has probably already put in a call to her agent.