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Brand New Monday – Paula Deen – From Battered and Fried to Buttered and Fired

Stick a fork in her?  Just days after announcing that it’s dropping Deen from its roster of celebrity cooks, Food Network has been served heaping portions of Southern fried outrage by her fans.  The network’s Facebook page lit up with angry messages from fans threating to change the channel for good. The decision to drop Deen, whose daytime shows have been a Food Network fixture since 2002, came two days after disclosure of a recent court deposition in which Deen was asked under oath if she had ever used the N-word. “Yes, of course,” 66-year-old Deen said, though she added, “It’s been a very long time.” Deen and her brother are being sued by a former manager of their restaurant who says she was harassed and worked in an environment rife with innuendo and racial slurs. Deen issued a videotaped apology Friday asking fans and critics alike for forgiveness. It had been posted online for about an hour when the Food Network released a terse statement that it “will not renew Paula Deen’s contract when it expires at the end of this month.” Meanwhile, Deen’s critics were making themselves heard online. On Friday night, #PaulaDeenTVShows became a top trending topic on Twitter, with postings that satirized familiar titles. Earlier in the week, they tweeted satirical names for recipes using #PaulasBestDishes. The fallout may not end with Food Network. At least two other companies that do business with Deen say they’re keeping a close eye on the controversy. Las Vegas-based Caesars Entertainment Corporation, which has Deen’s restaurants in some of its casinos, said Friday that it “will continue to monitor the situation.” Publisher Ballantine, which has a new Deen book scheduled to roll out this fall, used similar words. Will Deen’s empire go up in smoke or can she reclaim the market share once the dust settles? Let us know how you see this playing out and as always stay #TopRight.

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