This time, Paula Deen might really show up on “Today.”
The disgraced celebrity chef has committed to a booking on NBC’s morning chat show for Wednesday, less than a week after standing up cohost Matt Lauer for an interview.
Deen, 66, has been engulfed in controversy since a videotaped deposition surfaced in which she admitted using the N-word to describe blacks and described planning a wedding party that would costume black wait staff as antebellum slaves.
On Friday, she bailed on the planned “Today” sit-down, issuing instead a bizarre series of three apology videos that quickly went viral on the Internet. Food Network, Deen’s main TV employer, dropped her that day. In the second of those videos, Deen addressed Lauer directly and said she had been “physically unable” to do the interview.
Apparently Deen and her team thought more about the situation over the weekend and recommitted to the “Today” talk.
“She has told us she will be here this time,” Lauer told viewers Monday morning.
Deen may have good reason to explain herself further, as her business empire is hanging in the balance. Cable outlet QVC says it’s “reviewing” its relationship with her, and Random House, which is publishing a Deen cookbook, is “monitoring the situation closely.” Deen’s cookware is also sold in retail outlets such as Wal-Mart, Target and Sears.