Paula Deen Dumped by Food Network After N-Word Admission

Paula Deen Dumped by Food Network After N-Word Admission

Decision comes after Deen begs forgiveness "for the wrong that I've done"

The Food Network is ending its relationship with Paula Deen after her admission in a deposition last month that she has used the N-word in the past, and once wanted to plan a "plantation"-style wedding for her brother.

"Food Network will not renew Paula Deen's contract when it expires at the end of this month,” it said in a statement.

Also read: Paula Deen: 'I Beg Your Forgiveness'

The decision came soon after Deen released a videotaped statement Friday in which she apologized "for the wrong that I've done."

"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, totally unacceptable," Deen said in the video. "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 made."

Also read: Paula Deen's N-Word Use Is a Relic of the Past, Rep Says

The decision not to renew her contract capped a tough day for Deen, which began with her canceling a "Today" interview in which she was to discuss the subject. Matt Lauer said her representatives cited "exhaustion" as the reason she was unavailable.

Deen, 66, and her brother are being sued by a former employee at their Savannah, Ga., restaurant who claims Deen's brother subjected her to sexist, racist and violent behavior. She accused Deen of using the N word as recently as in 2007, while discussing an idea for the "plantation"-style wedding.

Deen denied using the word then, but conceded that she has used it in the past: Once to refer to a man who held her at gunpoint, and to recount conversations between African-Americans who used the word.

But she said in the deposition that times have changed and she no longer uses the word. Her representatives said in a statement Thursday that her use of it in the past was the result of growing up in the South 60 years ago. Deen followed that statement with her videotaped apology.

It wasn't enough for The Food Network, which has had a relationship with Deen since 1999 and gave her a show, "Paula's Home Cooking," in 2002. She was later given the shows "Paula's Party" and "Paula's Best Dishes."

But her ties to the network were undone by the lawsuit filed against her and her brother by Lisa T. Jackson, who said that as a white woman with biracial nieces, she was offended by the behavior of her former boss and Deen's brother, Bubba Hiers. Deen was accused of doing nothing to stop him.

Though Deen's admitted in her May 17 deposition that she had used the N word in the past, her other statements also suggested antiquated racial notions.

Jackson claims in her lawsuit that Deen once expressed a desire for Hiers' wedding to be staffed by a "bunch of little n—ers" wearing "long-sleeve white shirts, black shorts and black bow ties," adding, "you know in the Shirley Temple days, they used to tap dance around." The suit said Deen abandoned the idea because "the media would be on me about that."

Deen denied using the word in that instance, though she did say she wanted a "plantation" style wedding staffed by African-American waiters.