WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) – Celebrity chef Paula Deen released a video apologizing for her past use of racial slurs Friday, and Food Network subsequently responded by saying it won’t renew her television contract at the end of the month.
Deen dodged a ‘no-holds-barred’ sit-down with NBC’s Matt Lauer Friday morning, in which she was supposed to address her use of slurs in regards to employees in her Savannah restaurant, but was a “no-show” at the time of the interview, NBC says.
“I was invited this morning to speak with Matt Lauer about a subject that has been very hurtful for a lot of people,” Deen said in the self-published YouTube video. “And Matt, I have to say I was physically not able this morning. The pain has been tremendous that I have caused to myself and to others.”
Controversy began for the Food Network star when she was questioned as part of a discrimination lawsuit involving Uncle Bubba’s Seafood and Oyster House, a restaurant she co-owns with her brother Bubba Hiers.
A transcription of the deposition revealed Deen admitting to use of the N-word in conversation with black employees at the restaurant.
The lawsuit was brought against Deen by one of the restaurant’s former managers, Lisa Jackson, who said she was sexually harassed and worked in a hostile environment rife with innuendo and racial slurs.
“Your color of your skin, your religion, your sexual preference does not matter to me,” Deen later said in her apology. “But it’s what’s in the heart, and my family and I try to live by that.”
“Yes, I’ve worked hard and I’ve made mistakes, but that is no excuse, and I offer my sincere apology to those that I have hurt and I hope that you forgive me, because this comes from the deepest part of my heart.”
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