SAVANNAH, Ga. — The Food Network said Friday it’s dumping Paula Deen, barely an hour after the celebrity cook posted a videotaped apology online begging forgiveness from fans and critics troubled by her admission to having used a racial slur in the past.
The 66-year-old Savannah kitchen celebrity has been swamped in controversy since court documents filed this week revealed Deen told an attorney questioning her under oath last month that she has used the N-word. “Yes, of course,” Deen said, though she added, “It’s been a very long time.”
The Food Network, which made Deen a star with “Paula’s Home Cooking” in 2002, weighed in with a terse statement Friday afternoon.
“Food Network will not renew Paula Deen’s contract when it expires at the end of this month,” the statement said. Network representatives declined to comment further.
A representative for Deen did not immediately return phone and e-mail messages seeking comment on the decision. But in the online video, Deen adopted a solemn tone as she looked straight into the camera. “I want to apologize to everybody, uh, for the wrong that I’ve done,” Deen says as the video begins. “Uh, I want to learn and grow from this.”