UPDATE: It would appear that another of Paula Deen’s business connections is none-too-pleased with her n-word controversy, as Smithfield Foods has just announced it’s cutting all ties with the Southern chef.
In a statement to Eater, Smithfield says:
“Smithfield condemns the use of offensive and discriminatory language and behavior of any kind. Therefore, we are terminating our partnership with Paula Deen. Smithfield is determined to be an ethical food industry leader and it is important that our values and those of our spokespeople are properly aligned.”
Deen had promoted Smithfield’s hams in the past on her show.
Paula Deen has found herself in a pot of boiling water after a video deposition in a $1.2 million lawsuit from a former employer came to light. In that footage, she reportedly admits to using the n-word and discusses using other racist language, admissions that prompted the Food Network not to renew her TV show’s contract. QVC may be putting Deen and the cookware she hawks on the channel on the chopping block next.
Amid the controversy, QVC has issued a statement that doesn’t seem to bode well for the star’s Paula Deen’s Kitchen line of pots, pans, cookbooks and more.
A spokesperson says QVC “shares the concerns being raised around the unfortunate Paula Deen situation,” adding that: “QVC does not tolerate discriminatory behavior. We are closely monitoring these events and the ongoing litigation. We are reviewing our business relationship with Ms. Deen, and in the meantime, we have no immediate plans to have her appear on QVC.”
Deen reportedly replied “yes, of course,” in the deposition when asked if she used the n-word, as well as admitting to making racist jokes.
“It’s just what they are—they’re jokes… most jokes are about Jewish people, rednecks, black folks… Gays or straights, black, redneck, you know, I just don’t know—I just don’t know what to say,” she reportedly said in her own defense. “I can’t, myself, determine what offends another person.”
She then went on to post two video apologies, including one where she asked her fans and family for forgiveness:
“I want to apologize to everybody for the wrong I have done. I want to learn and grow from this,” Deen said in the first 45-second video posted on YouTube. “Inappropriate, hurtful language is totally, totally unacceptable.”