Paula Deen Off the Air

I suppose it was bound to happen. Fox News reports the details:

The Food Network said Friday it would not renew the contract of the celebrity chef, who has admitted using racial slurs in the past.

The announcement came only hours after Deen issued a strange video statement on YouTube — that was then removed – in which she repeatedly apologized, but failed to specifically address the racist comments she made in a recorded deposition.

“I want to apologize to everybody for the wrong that I’ve done,” she said in the short, emotional video. “I want to learn and grow from this. Inappropriate and hurtful language is totally, totally unacceptable.
“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 have made.”

There was no immediate explanation for why the video had been taken down and a call to Deen’s representative asking for an explanation brought no immediate response.

The Food Network issued a one-sentence statement late Friday saying, “Food Network will not renew Paula Deen’s contract when it expires at the end of this month.”

Reactions ran wild on both sides of the debate, from hashtag games on Twitter involving “racist” recipes to a Facebook page in support of Deen boasting over 25,000 members.

Fox News Radio reporter and commentator — and unabashed Southerner — Todd Starnes tweeted Friday, “What a coincidence @foodnetwork — I ended my relationship with you today, too.” Starnes has also posited that anti-Southern bias is at the heart of this controversy, and he has questioned the double standard that allows films like Django Unchained to use the same word so liberally in public that Deen has been castigated for using in private.

There’s no doubt more to come in this controversy. We’ll keep you posted.