Food Daily Dish

Bad to worse for Paula Deen: Sponsor Smithfield drops her; QVC next?

Paula Deen seems to be in the middle of a category 5 storm and the hits just keep coming. Smithfield Foods, a major Deen sponsor, announced it dropped Deen after she admitted last week to having used a racial slur in a legal deposition and telling racially charged jokes. 

Deen has been a Smithfield spokeswoman since 2006 and can be seen in numerous commercials promoting the company's hams.

"Smithfield condemns the use of offensive and discriminatory language and behavior of any kind," Keira Lombardo, Vice President of Investor Relations and Corporate Communications at Smithfield Foods told The Times in a statement. "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."

PHOTOS: Celebrity chefs and scandal

In more bad news, QVC, the home shopping network and website, has announced it is "reviewing its business relationship with Ms. Deen," reports Entertainment Weekly. Through QVC, she sells her cookbooks and cookware line in Paula Deen’s Kitchen.

"QVC shares the concerns being raised around the unfortunate Paula Deen situation.  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," a rep told EW. 

The Food Network announced Friday that it will not renew Deen's contract, which ends in July. Deen and her Southern drawl and butter-slinging ways have been a fixture on the channel since she started with the network in 1999.

PHOTOS: Celebrity chefs and scandal

Deen has issued multiple apologies since she admitted to using a racial slur and telling racially charged jokes in a deposition involving a former general manager at one of her Georgia restaurants. The former employee -- a white female -- is suing for harassment while working under Deen's brother Bubba.

Deen's most recent apology was issued Friday, in which she blames "the media" for portraying her and her family in a certain light.

Deen may continue to be shunned and dropped by sponsors, but she still has some fans showing their support. On Facebook, a slew of "Support Paula Deen" groups have popped up -- the largest showing over 300,000 likes. 

ALSO:

Paula Deen video: 'I beg for your forgiveness'

Paula Deen fans criticize Food Network for firing her

Paula Deen fired by Food Network over use of racial epithet


Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
Related Content
Comments
Loading