Friday has been quite the busy day for Paula Deen ... and not in a good way. First, she was a no-show for her "Today" show appearance, then she made an attempt at an apology for her past racist comments (and more) by posting a video to YouTube. As media outlets began picking up the video, in which she begged forgiveness from everyone from her children to her fans, it was suddenly taken down. But within an hour or so, a new apology video went up. And just as it did, other news broke: The Food Network is firing her.
All of the hubub stems from the recent release of her deposition statements for a discrimination lawsuit made by a former employee. In the deposition, Deen admits to having used the N-word, tolerating racist jokes, and mulling over a wedding in which all of the waiters would be black and dressed as slaves.
In her latest apology video, the 66-year-old sits in an office looking into the camera, and kicking things off with her signature "Hello, y'all." Interestingly, she starts off with an apology about skipping her "Today" appearance.
"I was invited this morning to speak with Matt Lauer about a subject that has been very hurtful for a lot of people and Matt, I have to say I have been physically not able to this morning. The pain has been tremendous that I have caused to myself and to others. So I'm taking this opportunity, now that I have pulled myself together and am able to speak, to offer an apology to those that I have hurt," she says in the 2-minute clip. "I want people to understand that my family and I are not the kind of people that the press is wanting to say we are. The color of your skin, your religion, your sexual preference does not matter, but it’s what's in the heart … and my family and I try to live by that."
Deen continues her apology, ending with "I hope that you forgive me because this comes from the deepest part of my heart…."
Of course, the apology comes too late to salvage her own cooking show. "Food Network will not renew Paula Deen's contract when it expires at the end of this month," it said in a statement. Deen has been with the network for more than a decade.
Earlier Friday, after Deen bailed on the "Today" show interview with Matt Lauer, the NBC News morning show called out her "no-show" in the cold open of its broadcast.
A clearly irritated Lauer said that he spoke with Deen about having a "candid, open and no-holds-barred discussion," but then added that, just minutes before it went to air, the show was contacted by Deen's publicist who relayed that the celebrity chef was exhausted and wouldn't be showing up.
The "Today" show tweeted:
And Lauer later tweeted:
Added Al Roker, "She’s been on the show so many times, she’s a friend of the show - we consider her a friend … We would hope she would reconsider, because she really needs to address this.” "
Earlier in the morning, Deen had tweeted that she was planning to address the controversy shortly:
Deen didn't do herself any favors however, when she deleted a tweet about a watermelon cooler recipe, following social media criticism that the tweet may have been distasteful in the midst of this ongoing controversy.
Two days ago, Deen tweeted, "Take advantage of all of that fresh watermelon comin’ our way with this refreshing cooler at your next get-together!", but on Friday that tweet was taken down.
Here are just a couple of examples of user reactions on Twitter that demonstrate the public frustration:
DOES PAULA CONSIDER THIS A PEACE OFFERING??? "@Paula_Deen: Take advantage of all of that fresh watermelon comin’ our way!"— Lee Farber (@FarberLee) June 21, 2013
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